Tuesday, 24 May 2011
May is the cruellest month
More recently wild winds have been the dominant force. I cannot think of any climatic condition less becoming to the field - a wrecking ball through its pastoral and interior qualities. It's also meant that what little moisture the rain has donated has been swiftly eroded and the larger bushes and trees that are now in leaf have struggled to cope with wind speeds more typical of the winter months when their bare branches wisely offer less resistance.
The winery has provided sanctuary and with my warehouse approval promised to be imminent, I've started my first commercial size batch of wine.
The press is a rubber belly inside a perforated steel cylinder. The fruit is put in between the belly and the cylinder and then the belly is slowly filled with water.
To the juice is added organic Brazilian cane sugar diluted in water up to the neck of the 100 litre (hectolitre) plastic barrel.
24 hours after adding the yeast not much was happening but after a good stir, it was soon bubbling away. In fact aping the chaotic conditions outside by frothing over the air lock, prompting some equally deranged cries of "Frying tonight!" from me as I manically took remedial action into the early hours of this morning.
The must now seems to have settled into a steady bubble.