August 15, 2011
Internship 1 complete! My last week of work was typical of all of the other weeks complete with bottling, sulfur dioxide testing and additions, and blending of wine. We received a shipment of fruit juice earlier in the week and it was my job to inoculate all of the juices with yeast. By the next day, the winery had so much CO2 in it that we were practically forced to open the doors to allow fresh air to enter. The winery smelled wonderful and I can only imagine how amazing the wines will taste when they are finished.
For my final post, I figured I would put together a list of lessons learned while working in Galena this summer.
1. Never bottle on a Friday afternoon. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. And it will all happen at the same time.
2. When adding SO2 to a tank, do not leave the beaker containing a 400,000 ppm solution of SO2 on the top of the tank. When you climb down to move the ladder a bit, the beaker will inevitably fall and break, covering you in that SO2 solution.
3. Always top the tanks. This prevents the wine from oxidizing. Either top the tanks with wine or with an inert gas like CO2, nitrogen or argon.
4. Keeping the amount of molecular SO2 in the wine at around .8ppm at all times will help to prevent oxidation.
5. Taste the wine daily. Sometimes the wine can go bad overnight and the sooner it’s caught, the greater the chance the wine can be saved.
6. When blending wine, take time to make all the samples that you need. Don’t rush to any final conclusions because just adding a .1grams/gallon of something can really change the taste.
7. The best way to build a new winery, is to build it with low ceilings. This way the wine critics will have to bow down to you when the enter. (This was said by a friend of Bruce Zoecklein who owns a winery in France.)
I suppose that’s about it for this post. There are a few pictures that I added below that I couldn’t really fit in earlier.
This internship was everything I hoped it would be. I learned a great deal this summer and I had a wonderful time. Chris Lawlor is a very knowledgeable winemaker and I feel privileged to be able to have work with her. This summer taught me that there is a lot of more to winemaking than I thought. I had no idea about all the different processes that can change a wine. I was used to what I worked with at home, but know I realize that there is so much more! I am still eager to learn more about winemaking through classes and internships. If nothing else, this internship has most definitely confirmed that I love making wine and learning about it. I can’t wait to find out what I will be doing next!