Winemaking (rec.crafts.winemaking) Discussion of the process, recipes, tips, techniques and general exchange of lore on the process, methods and history of wine making. Includes traditional grape wines, sparkling wines & champagnes.

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Old 09-04-2004, 10:00 PM
ernie
 
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Default Pinot Noir

I've recently become a fan of commercial pinot noir, and I'm thinking
of picking up some grapes this fall, since I'm not far from several
prime pinot regions in northern California. But pinot noir has a reputation
for being cranky, difficult to work with, challenging even for experienced
professionals.

Is this true? Has anyone here had good results or particular difficulties
making pinot noir wines (from grapes)?


- ernie


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Old 09-04-2004, 11:57 PM
Tom S
 
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Default Pinot Noir


"ernie" wrote in message
...
I've recently become a fan of commercial pinot noir, and I'm thinking
of picking up some grapes this fall, since I'm not far from several
prime pinot regions in northern California. But pinot noir has a

reputation
for being cranky, difficult to work with, challenging even for experienced
professionals.

Is this true? Has anyone here had good results or particular difficulties
making pinot noir wines (from grapes)?


Pinot Noir has a tendency to spoil if it is not tended properly - perhaps a
little moreso than other varietals. Apparently it contains _all_ the
nutrients spoilage organisms need to thrive. Keeping barrels/containers
topped up and sulfited adequately takes care of this problem quite
effectively.

I've noticed that Pinot Noir tends to go through phases in its development -
mood swings, as it were. One day it'll taste simply wonderful; the
following week you'll wonder "what the hell happened to my wine?". It can
jump around like a Chihuahua on caffeine when it's young, but eventually
settles down. Reminds me of some women I've known. ;^D ducking and
covering

I'd say that if you have access to good fruit (and it sounds like you do)
it's well worth the trouble to make.

"Bordeaux is the wine of gentlemen, but Burgundy is the wine of kings."

Tom S


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Old 10-04-2004, 01:46 AM
Darwin Vander Stelt
 
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Default Pinot Noir

In my short and not very broad experience, the quality challenge is in
growing the grapes. As Tom says, topping up and adequate sulfite seems to
make the wine behave once its made, but the plant really wants to make a
variety of lite cool aid. Maybe the problem is it wants to grow 8 tons of
grapes to the acre and it needs a real meany to drop all that fruit on the
ground, or maybe it needs it to be cool all summer, maybe both. I have
considered daily verbal abuse ("make em suffer"), and deprivation (make em
suffer more). If you can get great grapes, at least pretty good wine
should follow. I think Pinot is made in the vineyard.

"Tom S" wrote in message
om...

"ernie" wrote in message
...
I've recently become a fan of commercial pinot noir, and I'm thinking
of picking up some grapes this fall, since I'm not far from several
prime pinot regions in northern California. But pinot noir has a

reputation
for being cranky, difficult to work with, challenging even for

experienced
professionals.

Is this true? Has anyone here had good results or particular

difficulties
making pinot noir wines (from grapes)?


Pinot Noir has a tendency to spoil if it is not tended properly - perhaps

a
little moreso than other varietals. Apparently it contains _all_ the
nutrients spoilage organisms need to thrive. Keeping barrels/containers
topped up and sulfited adequately takes care of this problem quite
effectively.

I've noticed that Pinot Noir tends to go through phases in its

development -
mood swings, as it were. One day it'll taste simply wonderful; the
following week you'll wonder "what the hell happened to my wine?". It can
jump around like a Chihuahua on caffeine when it's young, but eventually
settles down. Reminds me of some women I've known. ;^D ducking and
covering

I'd say that if you have access to good fruit (and it sounds like you do)
it's well worth the trouble to make.

"Bordeaux is the wine of gentlemen, but Burgundy is the wine of kings."

Tom S




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Old 10-04-2004, 05:35 PM
ernie
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pinot Noir

Following up: I forgot about Google's group archive when I posted, and
when I looked I found lots of threads on this grape, including many posts from
Tom. It's Darwin's "lite kool aid" that I'm hoping to avoid; sounds like
a good cold soak and slow fermentation on the skins is the trick.

The prices for decent PN grapes are daunting, almost twice I've been
paying for local Contra Costa mourvedre or Lodi petit sirah, and that's part
of my hesitation. I'm hoping to do a gleaning/"second harvest" up on the
Russian River or possibly the Monterey highlands.


Darwin Vander Stelt wrote:
In my short and not very broad experience, the quality challenge is in
growing the grapes. As Tom says, topping up and adequate sulfite seems to
make the wine behave once its made, but the plant really wants to make a
variety of lite cool aid. Maybe the problem is it wants to grow 8 tons of
grapes to the acre and it needs a real meany to drop all that fruit on the
ground, or maybe it needs it to be cool all summer, maybe both. I have
considered daily verbal abuse ("make em suffer"), and deprivation (make em
suffer more). If you can get great grapes, at least pretty good wine
should follow. I think Pinot is made in the vineyard.

"Tom S" wrote in message
om...

"ernie" wrote in message
...

I've recently become a fan of commercial pinot noir, and I'm thinking
of picking up some grapes this fall, since I'm not far from several
prime pinot regions in northern California. But pinot noir has a


reputation

for being cranky, difficult to work with, challenging even for


experienced

professionals.

Is this true? Has anyone here had good results or particular


difficulties

making pinot noir wines (from grapes)?


Pinot Noir has a tendency to spoil if it is not tended properly - perhaps


a

little moreso than other varietals. Apparently it contains _all_ the
nutrients spoilage organisms need to thrive. Keeping barrels/containers
topped up and sulfited adequately takes care of this problem quite
effectively.

I've noticed that Pinot Noir tends to go through phases in its


development -

mood swings, as it were. One day it'll taste simply wonderful; the
following week you'll wonder "what the hell happened to my wine?". It can
jump around like a Chihuahua on caffeine when it's young, but eventually
settles down. Reminds me of some women I've known. ;^D ducking and
covering

I'd say that if you have access to good fruit (and it sounds like you do)
it's well worth the trouble to make.

"Bordeaux is the wine of gentlemen, but Burgundy is the wine of kings."

Tom S






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Old 10-04-2004, 10:08 PM
Tom S
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pinot Noir


"ernie" wrote in message
...
It's Darwin's "lite kool aid" that I'm hoping to avoid; sounds like
a good cold soak and slow fermentation on the skins is the trick.


Cold soak yes, but you want a _warm_ fermentation. If you aren't barrel
aging, consider dumping StaVin French oak "beans" into the fermenter. The
earlier you introduce oak into the wine the better it will become integrated
into the flavor profile.

Tom S




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