Grape White Wine

Caring for Young Grape Vines

My name is David Handley, I'm with the Universityof Maine Cooperative Extension, and we're here to talk about how to prune and traina young grapevine. This is a vine that was planted last spring. We got it from a dormantplant, or rooted cutting, and you can see the original part of the planting right here.This is what we got from the nursery, with a good root system under it. We planted it,and we had a bud break and some vine growth. This is last year's growth right here. Thiswas a green shoot. Typically, you may get more than one shoot developing. You may haveseveral buds on here. We want to prune this back to one strong vine, your strongest one.We're going to arrange for that to be tied

up to a trellis, because this particular vineis what's going to become our permanent trunk, or the permanent part of the plant that'sgoing to be with us for the life of the planting. We want to make sure it's the strongest ofthe vines that we can choose from. Any other one that developed that's very weak, we canjust cut that out, select our best one. The time of year to make these cuts are whenthe canes are dormant, and this is going to be really any time after the new year, untilthey bud out in late March, early April. We hope in the first year that we get enoughgood growth that we can tie it to the lower trellis wire.Typically here in Maine, we're going to be

pruning to either a four arm kniffin trainingsystem, or an umbrella kniffin training system. Those trellises consist of two wires, oneset at about two and a half feet, and a second wire set at about five feet.We hope in the first year that we're going to get enough good growth to reach at leastthe bottom wire, but in order to make sure it's growing straight, you can see we supportedthis with a small bamboo pole. Any kind of planting stake will work, and we just tiethat vine up as it grows, rather than let it grow along the ground where it can getrot problems, and not develop a nice straight growth like we want. We tie it up, just likeyou'd tie up a beef steak tomato, get the

growth that you want.As I said, we've got pretty good buds here, reaching up to the first wire. You can seethat I actually make it to the top wire, but you can see the growth up here is very scrawnyand spindly, and isn't really going to lead to a good, strong trunk. I'd rather actuallystart new growth for reaching to this top wire for next year.What that means is that I'm actually going to cut this off here, rather low, to try toget this bud here to break and give me a much stronger shoot to develop my trunk to thetop wire next year. I can just take that there, and then, instead of using the bamboo polethis year, I can just tie it to the wire.

This bud will hopefully break, and give mea good, strong shoot, that I'm going to reach the second wire next year. Of course, thesebuds lower down will also break, and if this one happens to be weak, I may select one ofthese. But, if this bud does turn out to be a strong shoot, I'll be cutting these offnext winter and getting my single trunk back up to the top wire.Next year, when this does reach the top wire, eventually what we'll be doing is taking oneyear old cane, and either draping it over this top wire and connecting it to the bottomwire in an umbrella kniffin, or we'll be taking one cane at the top wire on each side, andone cane at the bottom wire on each side,

to create four arms of one year old growth,for a four\uc0\u8209 arm kniffin system. Both systems work pretty well for concretetype grapes here in a cold climate like Maine.

Through the Grapevine How to Make White Wine

Once the grapes are removed from the cooler then we dump them in the shoot. So down the shoot they go into the distemmer. What it does is, it knocks the berries off of the stem. So the stem gets shot to the back and then the grapes drop into the crusher. Then that crushed berry would dump into a vat and then from there we take the vat and we send it to the press.

There are two kinds of presses that we use. One is a hydraulic bladder press. It's a bladder that fills with air. The other press we use is a wooden basket press and that bladder is filled with water. We add a little pectin enzyme and a little sulfite too. What that does, one, the sulfites help with browning, so we don't get so much browning and so much oxidation in our wine or our juice I should say. Then the pectic enzyme is used to help the solids settle to the bottom. It makes a really nice kind of a sludge layer, I would say.

We let that set overnight in the cold cooler and then the next morning we rack that. Racking means that we are actually taking the part that we want and throwing away the part of the wine that we don't want. Usually it forms two layers. You're going to see a clear layer on top and then a cloudy layer on bottom. When we rack, we take the clear part and leave the cloudy. What you have to do with yeast, wine yeast, is you have to make sure you inoculate it for at least 20 minutes.

That way the yeast cells absorb water and then they become alive. On top of the carboy you put an airlock. We use two kinds of airlocks. One is actually a silicone bung and it releases the CO2. It has a flap on it. The other one we fill it with water. It doesn't let the oxygen in but it lets the CO2 release as the fermentation is going on. Usually it take one day for an active fermentation to begin. You can see little bubbles form and the whole solution becomes cloudy in the carboy. If you would use the air lock with water in it, you would see bubbles start to come out.

That's Co2 releasing. Usually we ferment whites at about 66 degrees to 70 for about four days and then we move it into a 55 degree cooler. It's dark and so we let it progress from there. Probably two three weeks. We took our juice that had been fermented. Now it's wine. It has been sitting in the carboy. What we have now is a layer of yeast sediment form the bottom, on the bottom of the carboy. So we want to rack the clear wine from that yeast. We put it in another carboy.

Throw the yeast away, all the sediment. We taste it to be sure we don't taste any wine flaws or anything we don't thing the wine should taste like. We would add sulfites, we add bentonite and we also add sparkloids. We add these two products because they help fine the wine, clear it up, settle it up as it's in the cold cooler. After the wine has been sitting in the cooler for two months then we would bring it out. Again, we would rack it. The residue on the bottom would be our bentonite, the sparkloid we added and maybe even a little yeast sediment and there's probably going to be a lot of tartrate crystals around the vessel.

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