We decided to pick the Marquette. The decision was made for a couple of reason. First, the birds have been really bad this year. We didn't put up bird netting in time for numerous reasons. Unfortunately a tough lesson was learned. We lost probably 50% of the grapes to bird pressure so we decided to pick and cut our losses even thou they weren't really ready yet. The sugar content was in the 19 to 21 percent range and the acid level was sky high. My parents were in town to help and the green light was given.
Having the extra help was great. It only took us about two hours and boy was it hot out. The highs for Monday were around 95 and super humid. We were ready to be done.
All in all we collected only 30 lbs. this was very surprising and disappointing. I expected far more but another lesson learned. Forecasting and estimating yields will be a tricky thing to get a handle on. The crush went well although it was very quick. My crusher/destemmer was a lot more powerful than I though it would be and went through the Marqette with ease.
Grapes in one end and stems come out the other, I love this machine. Although It did let more stems through than I hoped. Not a big deal.
Dylan was a big help and wanted to be involved in every part.
The analysis of the wine was fun. I have a long way to go on finding the best way to take samples and run all the tests. The sugar and acit levels were not good. First the sugar was a little low and the acid way too high. I added sugar to a corrected level of 23 percent sugar. I hope the acid falls after the primary and secondary fermentations. SO2 was added and the must was left to rest overnight. Enzymes were added in the morning and given a few hours to break down the skins. On Tuesday we added the yeast. Had thought I check my order of wine supplies but didn't catch that I was sent the wrong yeast. I had no choice but to use the BA11 yeast I was sent. Now this yeast is meant for white wines. Should be an interesting wine! I used a yeast starter and hydrated it to manufacturer specs. The next morning we had bubbles!
The ferment is well under way and it smells great.
At all times go after your heart.
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