Birds&Bats Wine Productions - Wines of Momentary Destination
Okey doke, things have been hectic and not so hectic and maybe I’ve just been a bit lazy in writing this new blog post.
Now that the wine-making is pretty much done, Birds&Bats have been getting their heads around all the logistics of ordering bottles and corks and labels and sorting out the shipping and all the other stuff that makes a hole in the head preferable. Birds&Bats cannot thank Domaine Vella Frontera enough for all the help they have given us over the past few weeks with these tasks.. This wine would not be where it is without them, so thank you once again Corin & Jayne (you beauties!).
So what’s been happening with the wine you must be thinking? Well, things are falling into place after going up and down a bit: There was two weeks of lees stirring, which in hindsight may not have been the best thing to do. The lees are so fine that natural settling has been slow, very slow, and the first racking revealed a MASSIVE amount of gross lees, an amount that just simply cannot be afforded to loose. After racking the wine, the gross lees were transferred to a separate tank and Birds&Bats had a think and did a bit of research looking for products that would help with some lees recovery.
During this period of time the wine began to get stinky….Uh oh, I can hear you say. Yeah, not good…After ‘fuse’ settled down a bit following racking, the rather undesirable odour of the dreaded H2S was becoming apparent. Birds nearly cried and even Bats had a look of fearful doubt cross his face (but only for a second!). The gross lees that had been kept, which by now had begun to settle, were inspected. Stinky lees would have been an indication that things were heading in the wrong direction, but a good sniff and a taste revealed that the lees were fine, delicious even!
Following a few cranial collisions, Birds&Bats decided to re-introduce the gross lees back into the wine and some serious oxygenating pump-over action was done. Balance reduction with oxidation! Birds was still on the verge of tears, but Bats was (as always) confident that it was only ‘baby wine farts’ and that it would dissipate in time. This method worked a treat, which was confirmed by a group of people coming for a tasting of the Vella Frontera wines remarking on what a delicious aroma they could smell. Bats was re-named the Wine Jedi by Jayne and the smile returned to Birds face.
So once that drama was over research returned to finding something that could help reduce the volume losses.
A Laffort product called Polymust Organiq was found that claims to be the best thing since sliced bread for promoting lees compaction and improving filterability. This product was chosen as Birds&Bats wanted to keep the wine vegan and veggie, so no fish bits, cow feet or ovum albumen in this wine, making it allergen free, so all you sensitive ones out there can drink it too.
A trial was conducted and the polymust was good, it worked! Hurrah!! The appropriate dose was chucked in the wine and the gross less (that was saved in a separate tank) and now its a waiting game for everything to settle. Time is of the essence!
THEN!? That’s it. The wine needs to be racked again off the lees and prepared for bottling. Holy Moly. Not only are there birds and bats flying around, but a shit load of butterflies too. It’s sometimes pretty nerve wracking this wine-making lark.
We are bottling the lovely ‘fuse’ in the 1st week of December and it will be back in Blighty soon after, just in time for Christmas.