On May 1st, I started making a batch of wine with Vintner’s Cellar’s owner Larry McDowell. During our first meeting, I chose to make Viognier and we started the project by mixing the juice of the grapes with yeast.
Two weeks later, I returned to rack the wine–separating wine from its sediment, or lees, and transferring my creation into another glass container using a plastic siphon.
Wednesday, I headed up to Plano to get down and dirty with my wine—we added all kinds of nasty sounding chemicals to degass the plonk, I mean wine. You see, when yeast converts the sugar to alcohol, carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring byproduct. So we opened little packets of potassium sorbate, metabisulphite de potassium, and Isinglass and added them to the fermented juice to kill the remaining yeast and help the solids sink to the bottom.
We stirred the mixture until it looked like cloudy unfiltered apple juice and then recapped. In two weeks, I’ll returned to taste, tweak, and bottle my wine. If you’d like to follow along with pictures, they’re below. Chin-chin.
|Science Project: Making Viognier, Stage 3|