General happenings

21 Sep
2009

Ahh so we had our first drama in the winery yesterday and fortunately it was not my doing. What a surprise.

Greta and I rocked up to the winery at 9am and were about to begin the routine Babo (sugar level) check then do the pumpovers of the reds when we noticed that Tank 3 was sitting at a unusually cool 10C instead of a more convenient 29C during its fermentation. The reason being I hear you ask? The day before we had done the rounds Greta decided to turn on the cooling to bring it down a degree or two from 30C and…well…she forgot to close the valve and turn it off. At first she claimed she definitely did close it, but the valve was fully open and I think she later came to the realisation that she must have dreamt she closed it. Now we had a wine that was not fully fermented with the good chance that we’d shocked some of our precious yeast into an earlier sleep…whoops.
So, whilst Greta scurried off to go crush some grapes and avoid questioning from Giorgio, Francesca and I prepared some new bayanus yeast and got some wine heating up, added some sugar and made a nice brew. Then we had the problem of how to heat up a tank as quickly as possible when you do not have the machinery or hot water capabilities possible…it does probe an interesting question! Giorgio thought we could put the gas cylinder under the stainless steel tank and try heating up 80,000L of wine that way…umm…no. All my ideas involved using at least 200L of hot water, and they can’t even manage that. What we did in the end was use a probe light that emits heat convections throughout the wine and left it in there overnight so this morning when we came in it was 19C, and our yeast brew was content and had been accustomed to the alcohol so fingers crossed that things flow smoothly from now on!
Other concerns are that it has been raining quite heavily lately…seriously when it rains here…it rains! Amazing I haven’t seen anything like it in Melbourne in yonks.
Francesca will be heading off to Firenze next weekend and is planning on getting some Thai ingredients and so I’ve asked the mother to email me some recipes that we’ve enjoyed at home of Thai cooking to show off here and hopefully will turn out in a similar way. Some of my Moroccan or Turkish cooking is on the menu too at some stage, and a traditional pavlova when time permits! Other than that, I think chingiale (wild boar) is on the menu at some stage…it’s hunting season here so if you’re really lucky (not) you’ll get woken up by gunfire! Yay!

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