Every wine maker should take good notes when they make wine. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, taking good notes will help you improve your wine making skills. By being able to reference what worked well and what didn’t, you can improve the quality of your wine. The second reason is for the times when you surprise yourself and make something truly exceptional. In those instances, you will have a record of what you did and can repeat your work of art.
I am going to demonstrate what I am talking about. I am starting a new series of posts titled The Wine Log Series. I plan on documenting my wine logs on this blog. All the notes that I take about the wine, any readings I take, any impressions I get from the wine, will be documented here. I hope this will help you understand how to take good notes on wine making.
To start off the series, I ordered fresh wine juice from Luva Bella Winery. The juice came from California and is in 6 gallon buckets. The juices that I ordered were Burgundy, Shiraz, and Valpolicella, which are reds and Viognier which is a white. Below is a short description of each wine along with the readings I took on September 8, 2011 when I started the wine.
Burgundy – Ruby red in color that has a light aroma of cherry and earthliness. The hydrometer reading was 12.5% PA, or 1.096 SG. Tartaric Acid reading was .30%, which is a little low for a red. It should be around .60-.65% TA.
Shiraz – A blend of blackberry, spice and chocolate hints. The hydrometer reading was 12% PA, or 1.092 SG. Tartaric Acid reading was .30%, which is a little low.
Valpolicella – Deep ruby red color with apple and cherry aromas. The hydrometer reading was 11.5% PA, or 1.089 SG. Tartaric Acid reading was .35%, which is a little low.
Viognier – Light gold in color with the aroma of apricot, spice and honey. The hydrometer reading was 12%, or 1.094 SG. Tartaric Acid reading was .40%, which is a little low for a white. It should be around .65-.75% TA.
Since these juices are from California, I am not surprised the TA reading are a little low. Californian grapes are known to be low in acid. When I rack the juice to carboys, I will take another reading and adjust the acid at that time.
The instructions to start these wines were easy. Just bring the wine home, let it warm up and stir the must with a sanitized spoon. I also took the PA and TA readings listed above at that time. I will give them about a week to ferment, then I will check the PA reading to see if they are ready to rack into the carboy. I will update the wine log at that time. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.