Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sugar-o-meter.

Today, I decided to test the sugar in Vinoland's grapes.  So I got out my trusty refractometer and off I went in search of sucrose. Measured in degrees Brix, one can ascertain with a refractometer the volume of sugar, a percentage by weight, in an aqueous solution - in this case grape juice.  Primarily, I wanted to know how advanced the Pinot grigio grapes were. I knew they were tasting pretty nice, but who am I to gauge whether or not they are ready to harvest by taste alone. The Pinot grigio came in at, a rather surprising, 24.6 degrees.  Erm, Vinomaker, I think we ought to put some thought into harvesting here soonish. However, the Pinot grigio's seeds were not fully brown, so a little more physiological maturity is needed - that'd be hang time.
With 2010 and 2011 being such cool vintages, one could be forgiven for thinking that harvest was still a way off.  But this growing season has been nigh on perfect and all the different grape varieties in Vinoland seem to be maturing at a more normal rate. The Cabernet Sauvignon weighed in at 18.6 degrees and the Syrah was at 19.6 - both varieties' seeds were still partially green. Whilst the Cabernet Sauvignon still displayed the expected vegetal character associated with this variety the Syrah tasted simply marvelous. The 2012 vintage holds such great promise.

4 comments:

NHwineman said...

This is all, vicariously or otherwise, getting so exciting; reads like a book. have you ever read my post: http://nhwineman.blogspot.com/2012/03/henry-beston-and-john-mkelly.html

John Kelly, fellow vintner/winemaker from CA. and Henry Beston, naturalist writer, might interest you, though I can't imagine how much energy you have! You must pop-up out of bed at 4 AM and fall back in at 10 PM!

Thomas said...

24.6 Brix, and still waiting for the seeds!

Pray for the result.

Thud said...

Now you just need me to pep up the geriatrics who do the harvesting and you are golden!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: I really don't have that much energy, I just have a lot that needs to be done.
Your post was interesting. And although I do love grapevines for themselves, they are remarkable plants, it is more for selfish purposes that I grow them...I want wine!

Tomasso: Don't worry, they'll be picked soon, but I did sample in the afternoon and so the sugar probably showed a little high.

Thud: I'll give them coffee, not wine!