Two Bees Wine

Monday, October 02, 2006

A milestone: we pressed our grapes today.

Anthony brought home a rented mini contraption for assembly: 2 half-moons of vertical wooden slats, loosely aligned. Clasped together, they formed a barrel that held our 500 pounds of grapes (a few pounds at a time). This sat atop a red metal base with a moat along the perimeter.

The 2 of us formed a bucket brigade on the patio. We transferred the rich, pulp-free, red-purple liquid as it ran freely out the crevices in the press, through a pasta seive, and into a pail, to a funnel, then into our oak barrel.

Of course it wasn't so efficient and simple. Step 1 in the morning was to cleanse the barrel with scalding water and citric acid. But, by odd coincidence, the hot water ran out during Anthony's shower, and we discovered a broken water heater. It turned out to be our hydronic floor water heater, but the delay as we investigated set us back.

Then, the patio hose broke, followed by a rusted out replacement, until the last hose on property held. At this point, Anthony stuck the nozzle in for what seemed like forever (will we really end up with that much wine?). He rolled the bloated barrel back and forth to bathe its insides, drained it, and repeated the process.

Finally, at 2PM, we began pressing. Our immature wine, for the first time cut off from its mother grapes, seemed to relish the freedom -- it flowed fast and hard, garish in hue, unsubtle with its alcohol. We paused to dip in 2 shot glasses to toast our first vintage and hope for the best.

The barrel didn't quite hold all the cache; 2 extra carboys finished the job. Finally, we guided the barrel up an improvised ramp and navigated it through the living room into the foyer. Topped with fermentation locks to permit release of carbon dioxide and prevent air from entering, the barrel and its 2 glass cousins rest.

Posted by Picasa


Post a Comment

<< Home