Page 12 - Grapevine Sept-Oct 2019
P. 12

In The Winery

            of a tank – does the sample represent the complete  free from any debris or residues.  An example may
            wine tanks contents?  If taking a sample from near   be the adverse reaction to a sample taken in a bea-
            the bottom – does this represent the wine tanks      ker that was recently used during a Sulfur Dioxide
            content?  Should mixing be used to make the tank     addition or used to dissolve meta-bisulfite.  If resid-
            contents uniform?                                    ual sulfur dioxide remains in that container, it may
                                                                 adversely affect the lab test results and needed
              Mixing: It may not always be prudent to mix a      additions may be overlooked.  The lab test result
            tank of wine for sampling purposes.  Much of the     will show ample quantities, when in fact, the actual
            lees and solids may have settled to the bottom of    tank contents sample may have indicated other-
            the tank and mixing the tank would only re-sus-      wise.
            pend those solids.  Certain times the winemaker
            may want to mix the tank prior to sampling may
            include: Prior to bottling, just after a racking or
            blending, just after and during additions and any-
            time a true representative sample is known to be
            needed for a particular winemaking decision.

              Blending Sessions: Getting prepared for a blend-
            ing session is a time to make sure your samples are
            very representative and broken down into areas of
            distinction – perhaps even inside various “same”
            lots.  For example:  Mountain Fruit Cabernet New
            French Oak, Mountain fruit Cabernet Old French
            Oak, Mountain Fruit Cabernet New American Oak,
            and so on.

              All of these samples in the example may be from
            the same raw material but the cooperage influence
            incorporated into them has made them very dif-
            ferent.  These differences make blending sessions
            a joyful challenge and yet offers the best chance
            to have the flexibility and control needed during a
            blending session.  This sampling will give the blend-
            ing session the greatest flexibility and control to
            the outcome of the final blend.  After wine samples
            are taken from each vessel - make sure to mix the      Temperature Measurement and Stratification:
            sample so the actual sample taken will be represen-  Outside of the sampling topic, keep in mind when
            tative of the complete number of vessels sampled     looking at a thermostat on a tank, where the
            and that incomplete mixing will not adversely affect  thermocouple is inside that tank.  If the reading is
            the blending session’s outcome in the cellar.        from a lower area in the tank, it may not be given
                                                                 a representative reading of that tank’s true tem-
              Fining trials: This is an important time to have a   perature.  This is especially important when cold
            representative sample.  Mixing a reasonably clean    stabilizing wines.  Mix the tank prior to seeding (if
            wine, free of sediment, is desired to make sure this   seeding is the practice used for cold stabilizing) the
            important refinement tool is employed properly       wine.  With large capacity tanks, one may notice
            prior to fining the tank’s complete contents.        during mixing the temperature may rise.  Another
                                                                 temperature stratification check, prior to mixing, is
              Sampling collection beakers, vessels and contain-  taking a temperature reading from the top of the
            ers:  Make sure to take samples in clean containers   tank’s contents.  Notice any difference?  One will

            Page 10                       The Grapevine • September - October 2019                            877-892-5332
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