zin wine from fresh grapes

Hi ...this fall I made wine from zin grapes presumably from the central valley....fermented on skins for 7 days then racked to glass......but the colour is rather pale.......should I have cold macerated for an extended period before pitching the yeast??....the tannins are very good.......I left 10% of the stems in ......but the colour is dissapointing....anyone with an opinion on this??..................................thanks,Andy J.,N.B.,Canada (sorry no book to plug)
Reply to
Andy j.
Andy,
Thanks *so* much for not being a crappy wannabe author! :-)
When I did my central valley this year, I did about the same as you -- 40 hour soak after crush to let the must temperature rise to where the yeast could take hold, and then it fermented dry in another 5 days. I decided to do an extended maceration for the reason you noted -- plus the fact that the skins still seemed to have quite a bit of colour and flavour in them. I let the wine stay on the skins for an additional 8 days before pressing, spritzing the surface with a sulfite solution and covering with a plastic sheet that sealed pretty well around the edges.
The results have been very pleasing so far. The color is not as dark a purple as many wines I've done, but I noted while pressing that the red color seemed to be a deeper and denser red than anything I've yet done. That still seems to be the case. The wine cleared very rapidly (already looked clear within 3 weeks) and the flavour is as good or better than anything I've done.
I will definitely try this again next time I make wine (it may not be next fall because if the universe is willing I'll have 2 bambinos around to "help" instead of just 1 this year!) The extended maceration technique seems to be a love/hate thing with winemakers. But it also seems to me that those who have actually tried it generally have had no problems and swear by it for certain wines. By my experience it seems like those who say that it's very risky and trouble-prone generally have not actually tried it. But you'll have to decide for yourself :-)
Cheers, Richard
> Hi ...this fall I made wine from zin grapes presumably from the > central valley....fermented on skins for 7 days then racked to > glass......but the colour is rather pale.......should I have cold > macerated for an extended period before pitching the yeast??....the > tannins are very good.......I left 10% of the stems in ......but the > colour is dissapointing....anyone with an opinion on > this??..................................thanks,Andy J.,N.B.,Canada > (sorry no book to plug)
Reply to
Richard Kovach
Hi Andy,
Next year you could do what they call a saigner, take 10% of the juice off, so you'd have a higher juice to skins ratio. I don't know if that makes any sense. I think it will result in a better product though, and as a bonus, you can use the juice you draw off to make some "white" zinfandel.
--
charles

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Reply to
Charles H
Andy, I had the same problem with my Central Valley Cab this year. The suspended solids gave my wine a strawberry color. After month or so after pressing (when the solids settled), the color darkened significantly, though still not a big red color.
Reply to
David D.
I wonder how much the temperature is a factor. I consistently get light colored zinfandels from Amador and Contra Costa, despite ten days on the skins (though the phenolics are acceptable). I ferment in a shady back yard in the Bay Area, and the must never goes above about 75 degrees F.
Since they taste and smell wonderful, I'm not too worried about correcting this, though I do have some petit sirah, dark as night, for blending this time around.
Reply to
ernie
Hey Andy
You have fermented a typically high ph (+3.6), low acid Zin from the central valley. This is the largest mass produced vineyards on the continent.... bar none. Many of the largest vineyards maximize the tonnage per acre resulting in lower quality. They then sell industrial scale fruit to middle men who charge you premium prices plus shipping all the way to the east coast. My point is, the higher the harvested ph reading of Zinfandel the lower the colour, as you refer to, as pale. Next time, use a ph meter and add tartaric acid ( natural grape acid ) to lower the ph somewhere between 3.4-3.5. Use pectic enzyme to further unlock the grape skin potential and try cold maceration. But remember 90+% of a wine's quality/character is grown in the vineyard.My opinion............Cheers Zinman
Reply to
zinman

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