Tongue River Winery         

                       Quality Made Wines with fruit exclusively from the Northern Plains!  

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End of Autumn Wine Tweaking

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 10:05 AM

What?  It's still fall?!  With snow (SNOW??!!) on the ground, icy roads and chilly nights?  Oh well, Winter's got to come sometime...

APPLE ICE WINE: This week our Apple Ice Wine will finish fermenting at about 11% alcohol and 10% sugar.  It's only got a half-percent to go, and will probably finish later today.  Then outside it goes to chill the yeast down to stop their multiplying and sugar munching.  After a few days, we'll pump it chilled downstairs in the winery, run it through 5 grades of filter cartridges until it's crystal clear, then kill off most of the remaining yeasties with sulfite, and then stop any left in their tracks with sorbate (the birth control pill for yeast!) which doesn't hurt them....it just prevents them from multiplying, starting up a ferment again and blowing up bottles!

FRONGRIA: Meanwhile, we're fine-tuning our Frongria, a new sweet version of Frontenac Gris.  It's a "white port" style of wine— strong and sweet.  With 17.2% alcohol, this wine is loaded with tropical fruit flavors and aromas including banana, pineapple, peach, and apricot.  Darn it!  If it had hints of coconut we could have called it "Pinã Frongria!"

CHILL PROOFING:  We moved our Frongria outside a few days ago to "chill proof" the wine.  Grape wines contain both potassium and tartaric acid, and if you chill them down they will often precipitate some of  those chemicals in the form of potassium bitartrate, known to you as cream of tartar.  It's tasteless and harmless, but looks like a layer of glass shards on the bottom of the bottle.  We do our best to get rid of them by chilling the wine, then when the crystals drop out and stick to the sides and bottoms of the cold containers, we pump the wine into clean tanks and leave the crystals and some of the acid behind.  WE DO ALL THIS BECAUSE WE KNOW YOU LIKE THE APPEARANCE BETTER!  Last year we didn't chill proof.  We could have run a pretty good competition with Jack Frost for "Most artistic crystals!"

See you next week....in winter!   Bob 

Categories: IN THE WINERY