Friday, 2 October 2009

Le Chai is as busy as ever!

Perfect timing for Yves the photographer to be here to take some pictures of real post harvest cellar action!

The 2009 GG is what we now call 'technically dry' which means there is no fermentable sugars left in the wine. Now is another crucial moment as it is at this point that – without meticulous care and experienced handling – it could become instantly oxidised, losing all the fruit characters that have been carefully preserved during the fermentation.

The first step is to carefully separate the clear wine from the sediment without allowing the wine to come into contact with air. We protect the surface of the wine and the receiving vat with a layer of CO2. The hoses are filled with water and the wine, when pumped, pushes the water out of the 'T taste off' valve.

When the wine arrives the taps are switched and the wine flows gently into the tank. A tiny amount of sulphur is added to protect the wine and the vat is filled to the top into the chimney – just like a giant bottle of wine! So only the tiniest surface area of the wine is exposed to air and there is no risk of oxidation.

Henry meanwhile is picking the last of his Merlot vineyards and Libby has arrived to give the team a hand.

Once again Mr Hartley is on hand to carry the grapes carefully to the trailer!

The hard mornings work will always be rewarded with a Bernadette lunch!

Laithwaite Sauvignon Round 2!

Very interesting tasting today and wow the wines have changed. Its very important to make extensive notes each time the wines are tasted in order to create a life history of the wine! This is how we learn to taste the young wines and predict in order to reserve the wines before anyone else.


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