Day Twelve: 07/10/2011 Rain, rain, Go away!
The cold has set in and the miserable weather has begun. This is the first dark and gloomy day I had in Austria since arriving here two weeks ago. Temperature was as predicted, which was 12 degrees Celsius.
No grapes were coming in today. We did some diammonium phosphate (DAP) additions and tank transfers. I learned that the reason why hot water was added to dissolve the DAP was that if it were added straight into the wine, there would be a burst of carbon dioxide gas which would shoot the wine straight out of the tank from the top.
Most of the carbon dioxide is in dissolved form and the colder the wine gets, the more dissolved it becomes. Usually after a few months, the carbon dioxide gas will dissipate. It is important to check for CO2 levels before bottling the wines and making adjustments. This is because wines with too much CO2 in them will make it difficult to fill up bottles during the bottling line. Also, when storing the wine, CO2 gas can push out the corks if the storage area is too warm. It can cause problems with foaming in the wine too.
Bert was telling us about his latest experiment to try fermenting Gruner in clay pots lined with wax inside. The pot will be buried in the ground. He is intending to do the method of ferment that the Georgians have been doing for years. The skin of the white grapes will be placed in the pots and plunged with the skins two times a day. It will also be left for a few months in the pot after ferment and topped up each time it is needed. There will be a small oxygen exchange between the vessel and the wine. This wine will be bottled separately from the rest.
Some labeling was being done in the back room today. Nothing much was going on today as we had a crazy one yesterday. Everyone was exhausted.
Tonight, we were invited to visit another vineyard 25 minutes away and taste some of their wines. We were introduced to Hans who was a natural comedian and a wonderfully generous man who has travelled to many parts of the world.
According to typical Austrian hospitality, we were first treated to a few shots of apricot schnapps to “warm” ourselves up. Next, he proceeded to show us around his estate which was practically the size of half the village in Kamptal.
The sunset was magnificent from his place. We were treated to a lovely Austrian meal comprised of smoked salmon and ham, vegetables with gelatin and an assortment of red capsicum stuffed with cheese, olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
Finally, on came the pièce de résistance which was goulash and a decanter full of 1982 brunello di montalcino. What a way to end the day! Tomorrow is a rest day and I shall be spending some time in Vienna.