Stomping on grapes... A great feeling
I still have not planted our very first vines but I was able to make some wine... Actually, I did a barrel of red in 2012 with some grapes I found unpicked just at the corner of our property. After having asked permission to the owner, we have picked about 1/2 ton of old organic Mourvedre and I made the wine in a very artisan way : Foot crushing, cap plunge down with hands, hand press...
This wine now ages in a barrel coming from Chateauneuf du Pape and it is slowly smoothing it rustic (but eventually elegant) tannins.
This year, I told myself that if those couple of rows will still remain unpicked, I would like to try to make some rose. I found a garage winemaker in Bandol with some modern equipments which are a must for rose and, when I found out that some grapes were eventually for wild boars and birds, I decided to take a little share.
With the help of our kids, we very carefully picked the best grapes from Mourvedre and Cinsaul and pressed them right away in a pnenmatic press. the juices have been placed in a refrigerated tank at 6°C - 43° F in order to prevent fermentation to start (yeasts don't work at low temperature) and, in the same time, accelerate the "débourbabge" (settling). The quicker you make this crucial operation which consists in fermenting only the clear juice and then eliminate the "bourbes" (the thick part of the press juice), the less time the juice will be exposed to oxidation. OK, one way to also do this is to add a bunch of sulfites (which calms down yeasts and protects the must from oxidation) but, as you know well, sulfites are not my best friends...
So when the settling was done, we have pumped the clear juice from the top od the tank until reaching the bourbes which we eventuallt gave back to Nature. On the clear juice, I have added 20 liters of fermenting rose which I had started a few days earlier) in order to start the fermentation right away and, there again, avoid using sulfites in order to protect the juice from oxidation... And it worked.
This rose is now fermenting slowly at 16°C (61°F) which is the best way to express its natural aromas. Needless saying, no industrial yeats have been added. When it is almost done fermenting, I will make an experimental natural sparkling, bottling some almost done wine (with about 15 g residual sugar) which will continue to ferment in the bottle and create the sparkling.
Can't wait to be in summer and enjoy those !
On a side note, last week was also oilve and honey harvest at Mas des Brun which eventually gave me the idea of our motto :
Mas des Brun
Wine - Olive Oil - Honey
Jean-Marc @ Mas des Brun