Wine Bottling

We bottled our first batch of 2012 wine:  5 gallons of Apple and 8 gallons of Chambourcin.  I have to say, the wine turned out great.  We took measurements of the pH, and SO2 levels, and we were  within the perfect range – without having to do much adjusting.  Our wines underwent “natural” cold stabilization (with other words, we left all our wine in the downstairs of our unheated stone barn), and the bottom of the carboys had a solid layer of tartrate crystals.

Tartrate crystals stuck to
 bottom of carboy

A note on “Wine Diamonds” (tartrate crystals) – tartaric acid is a normal grape acid.  Grapes also contain potassium and under chilly conditions,  these two things bind together, forming little potassium bitartrate crystals, which then settle to the bottom of the bottle. They’re completely harmless, and quite natural – but for those people who don’t know what these crystals are, they  are seen as impurities or even bits of broken glass.   Cold stabilization means that wine is “forced” to form these crystals before it is bottled.

We ran out of colored ink for our printer, so all labels this weekend were done is stark black and white decor.  We moved some of the bottles to the barn for storage – hoping the thick stone walls will keep temparatures perfect over the summer as well.