It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a technical winemaking post. So here goes.

Andy has perfected the ultimate homemade topping up system for wine for less than $200 for the whole system, which in the winemaking world is a huge bargain.

A bit of background: when your wine is in barrels and resting, you want to make sure as little air as possible can get to it to oxidize it. But you still want to siphon out some for periodic tasting. Which means that you are lowering the volume, therefore introducing more air. What to do? Obviously, you need a methodology for “topping up” your barrels easily and quickly.

Here’s the homemade system Andy devised:

 

Andy has every one of our varietals in a separate tank under very low pressure, topped off with nitrogen, similar to Coca Cola in a soda fountain.

Andy has a selection of every one of our varietals in a separate tank under very low pressure, topped off with nitrogen, similar to Coca Cola in a soda fountain.

So when Andy pulls out some wine from a particular barrel (as he does here with the appropriately named “wine thief”), he can top up the barrel to prevent the air from oxidizing the wine.

 

Removing some Grenache to mix with the Mourvedre to see how they might meld.

Removing some Grenache to mix with the Mourvedre to see how they might meld as a Rhone-style blend.

Now the barrels can be topped up with fresh wine from the pressurized cannisters, thus avoiding the dreaded air contact.

 

Topping up the barrels.

Topping up the barrels.

 

Dr. FrankenWine mixes Grenache and Mourvedere. Result: very encouraging!

Dr. FrankenWine mixes Grenache and Mourvedere. Results: very encouraging!

 

Verdict on the Mourvedre, Grenache and Cabernet: Much better than expected. High hopes for this very first vintage.

Verdict on the Mourvedre, Grenache and Cabernet: Much better than expected. High hopes for this very first vintage.

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