Monday, March 21, 2011

Bottling Traminette

The time had finally come to bottle the Traminette. Some of my readers may remember that the Traminette juice was sourced from Walkers Wine Juice. They shipped a five gallon jug of heat-pasteurized Traminette juice from the state of New York. This is my first time working with Walkers, and so far I have been quite pleased.

I have been a little concerned because the color of the wine was a strong yellow. Oxidation is always the enemy of the winemaker. I have battled this by attempting to do regular SO2 additions, and using CO2 or Nitrogen to fill any head-space in my carboys. Something else I am considering is limiting the amount of time I bulk-age wines.

I tasted the Traminette and it tasted fine, though a little on the acidic side. Given the color, I didn't want to spend any additional time trying to undergo a cold-stabilization in order to release the tartaric acid. This might be a mistake, but I have never been one of those people who freak out at wine diamonds (tartaric acid crystals) appearing at the bottom of my bottles.

Because this is a white wine, I decided to sterile filter the wine using the Buon Vino SuperJet. While I was filtering it I could not help but think about how much the wine was getting exposed to oxygen. I finally decided that before I bottle another wine that I would order the filter housing and filters for my Enolomatic. This would allow the wine to be pulled through the filter using a vacuum, and reduces the chance of oxidation.

Overall the bottling of the Traminette took a long time. Not only from all the cleaning that had to be done, but also because there was a lot of CO2 to pull from the wine before I could cork it. After the wine is in the bottle I always use a VacuVin to pull any remaining CO2 from the wine so my corks don't pop out of the bottle. I am theorizing that there was more CO2 trapped because of how chilly the basement has been this winter. That and the fact that I had occasionally used a CO2 canister to sparge the air out of the head-space in the carboy.

Another issue arose while I was trying to cork the wine. With whites and some fruit wines, I normally use NomaCorc synthetic corks. This time when I was inserting the corks, they were pulled deep into the bottle, no matter how much I adjusted the corker. The only way I could find to solve it was to try and put them in very slowly. Maybe it had something to do with how cold the corks were from being in the basement. Has anyone else experienced this?

I bottled a total of 23 bottles of Traminette - the perfect wine to drink during the Spring and Summer months.

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