Tag Archives: Harvest

Destemmer Only?



Last year we were lucky enough to make our wine at EMTU Vineyards with our friends Chris and John Mason.  They are about 7 miles away so it was difficult to punch down 3 times per day for 10 days and do all the work necessary to make wine.  So this year we decided to invest in some equipment and make the wine at our house.

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of the 160 L bladder press that will handle about 1/2 ton of fermented grapes.  Our latest investment is a destemmer, it separates the berries from the stem by use of an auger and paddles.  We went the Beverage People in Santa Rosa.  They brought these in special just for Pinot Noir home winemakers.  They only had three in stock as they didn’t know who would buy these…they said only winemakers who had French friends that had tasted Burgundy would do it.  But wouldn’t you know, the three all were sold in one week, and one was to us!

Normally for whites and many reds you crush and destem at the same time.  However for Pinot Noir the idea is to destem only and ferment with whole berries.  This is gentler on the berry and will prolong the fermentation since the grape is whole and it will take longer for the yeast to penetrate the berry.  The goal is a more complex flavor profile by retaining the aromatics in the grape longer, or so I have read.  Actually, most of the commercial wineries only destem and then do an inspection on a sorter table to take out any bad berries.

Will have to see how it turns out!



sb clusterThis will detail the fermentation of our first harvest of Pinot noir and Sauvignon blanc

Harvest – 9/23/12
Amount – ~20 lbs
Brix – 22.6
Yeast – VL1 (a Viogner type)
Manually crushed and de-stemmed into a small press. Press resulted in about 2 gallons of liquid. 10g of VL1 yeast was added to a 5 gallon carboy with a plastic cup on top at 1pm. 5ml of a 10% potassium meta-bisulfite solution was added as a preservative, approximately 35ppm.

9/24 – Lovely smell
10/4 – added mlf
Harvest – 9/23/12
Amount – 34 picking tubs with ~35 lbs in each, or 1190 lbs, Brix – ~23.2 Crushed and de-stemmed at EMTU vineyards into a 1/2 ton bin. 32g of meta-bi-sulfite added as a preservative. Also added 40 lbs of dry ice. Temperature of must solution reduced from 62 F to 40 F.
9/24 – 48 F at noon
9/25 62 F at 9:30am Brix = 22.8 or 23.0 , Added 10 g Lallzyme Enzyme, 30# dry ice
9/27 55 F, added 40# dry ice, liquid very viscous due to enzymes
9/29 58 F, Added 1.5 g/l of tartaric acid and 0g assmanshausen yeast
9/30 62 F, brix 22, punch down
10/1 82 F, brix 19.8, punch down
10/2 88 F, brix 12.7 and 9.8, pH 3.84, punch down and added 0.5 g/l tartaric acid
10/3 90 F, brix 4.5, pH 3.82, great color much less viscous
10/4 81 F, brix -1.4
10/8 pH 3.76, very dark purple and cap has fallen….ready for pressing this morning.


harvest crewHarvest Happens at Turtle Vines….after only 4 short years of planning! We started on 9/23 at 8 am with nine friends and ended up picking 20 lbs of Sauvignon blanc (Brix 22.4) and around 1190 lbs of Pinot noir (Brix ~23). We finished picking at 11:00 and then went to EMTU Vineyards for crushing/destemming (another 1.5 hours) and adding sulfur/dry ice for a cold soak on the Pinot noir and sulfur/yeast for the Sauvignon blanc. I’ve added lots of pictures below….
Harvest toast sb press sb cluster dry ice finishedpicking