- Published: Tuesday, 13 November 2018 14:59
- Written by David DeCiero
The 2018 harvest in Rhode Island was a little late this year, happening on 11/4. I drove down to Rhode Island to pick up the grapes and a couple hours later I was driving back with 250 lbs of grapes. 125 lbs of Merlot and 125 lbs of Cabernet Franc. The owners of the vineyard notified me that they were scaling back their vineyard and that this would be the last year they would be able to sell grapes. This concludes 8 years of working with them. Although it is sad to end this chapter as I have come to know those grapes very well, I look forward to next year and sourcing some new grapes.
Once I got home, I had my destemmer/crusher all set up and put them all through the machine. Since it was only 250 lbs (as opposed to the 500 I used to do), it went extremely quickly. It took less than 1 hour (I had helpers) to get everything through the machine. Testing revealed a low 19.2 Brix for the Merlot and the same for the Cabernet Franc. I felt like I needed to boost the sugar a little, so added cane sugar to get to 20 brix for both. I have stopped taking pH and TA on these grapes because I know they are always the same. I went with my regular additions of Ex-V, OptiRed right after crush, then 24 hours later, I added FT Rouge as sacrificial tannins. I then rehydrated BM 4x4 and pitched it. Now, I wait until fermentation starts and about a week later I can press.