Cloudy in Clear Skies

By Bart van Olphen

Cloudy in Clear Skies

In the land of clear blue skies, sunny Mildura, our bucketwines are cloudy at the finished stage.  Let me explain why.

As our bucketwine grapes get pressed and strained through a sieve, we end up with juice which still contains parts of the grape flesh, skin, dust and other particles.  To separate these particles, what we call ‘solids’, we settle the juice overnight to let them all sink to the bottom.  This is done in the fridge so it can’t start fermenting because the yeasts can’t work in the cold.  After a day we syphon the clean juice off the top, a process called ‘racking’, and let it warm up and start fermentation naturally.

Greco_settling

During fermentation the yeast cells are in suspension because of the CO2 produced by the ferment process that constantly stirs and turns over the liquid.  When the ferment stops so does the CO2 (bubbles) and the yeast starts dropping to the bottom.

White_Lees

Putting the wine in the fridge again will help this settling process and also give the chance for the wine crystals, also known as tartrates, to form and sink to the bottom.  A process called cold stabilising.

Racking

Now the wine is ready to bottle, still a little cloudy and containing fine yeast particles the didn’t drop out.  Because we don’t filter the wines we preserve more flavours and a raw quality that is often lost in filtration.  Because we bottle before absolutely everything is settled we end up with a small amount of sediment in the bottle.  Often lees (sediment) will increase complexity of flavour and texture of the wine as it matures.  Don’t worry about the little cloudy or muddy part at the end of the bottle, it’s all natural goodness.

Cheers,

Bart

Bart_racking

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