A matter of style

The ferment is currently at 6.4 degrees Brix, leaving some sweetness in the wine.
The ferment is currently at 6.4 degrees Brix, leaving some sweetness in the wine.
Primitivo juice, cold and clear, when we crushed it a week ago.
Primitivo juice, cold and clear, when we crushed it a week ago.

Tuesday morning we got out to the winery on the early side; we wanted to catch the Primitivo fermentation at about 6 Brix to extract a barrel of still-sweet wine to make a Port-style wine.

Our timing was excellent, so we set the pump up and moved the barrel prepared for this purpose into the cold room with the fermentation bin.

Pumping the wine from the bin into the barrel.
Pumping the wine from the bin into the barrel.
We added high alcohol spirits, made from grape pomace, Grappa-style.
We added high alcohol spirits, made from grape pomace, Grappa-style.

Once the barrel was 2/3 full we measured the amount of high-alcohol spirits needed to exterminate the yeast and preserve the wine and poured it into the barrel.  The smell of the wine was great, the smell of the high-alcohol spirits was less so to me as it was so concentrated.

Topping off the barrel with more Primitivo wine to fill it once the distilled spirits were added; this essentially kills the fermenting yeast.
Topping off the barrel with more Primitivo wine to fill it once the distilled spirits were added; this essentially kills the fermenting yeast.
The high alcohol spirits destroys the silicone bungs used to cap the kegs.  Even with a plastic barrier this bung was deteriorating.
The high alcohol spirits destroys the silicone bungs used to cap the kegs. Even with a plastic barrier this bung was deteriorating.

We filled the barrel the rest of the way with wine and bunged it with a fermenting bung.  For several hours we could still detect the release of carbons dioxide but by the middle of the afternoon this reduced significantly – we were successful at obliterating the yeast in the wine.

This barrel will be stored in a back corner of the busy winery for at least a few years, until it is deemed ready to bottle.

Cheers!

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