Adventures in Winemaking

Inside the Winery

As Assis­tant Wine­mak­er to chief Wine­mak­er, Lin­da McWilliams at San Pasqual Win­ery, we are pleased to announce the release of a few of our out­stand­ing wines. One of my favorites is the 2009 Alexan­der Val­ley Caber­net Sauvi­gnon. This wine was quite a chal­lenge for us dur­ing fer­men­ta­tion. Lin­da and I stopped by the win­ery after class late one night to find that the fer­men­ta­tion was up to 99 degrees; too hot.

High tem­per­a­tures like this will kill the yeast and stop fer­men­ta­tion. Lin­da and I were faced with the sit­u­a­tion of need­ing to bring the tem­per­a­ture down with­out adding water to the Must. Look­ing around the win­ery, I noticed that we had shrink wrap. From there we bought blocks of ice, encased them in the shrink wrap, ster­il­ized them, and added them to the Must, intro­duc­ing them into the macro bin of fer­ment­ing wine. This tac­tic was suc­cess­ful in low­er­ing the tem­per­a­ture, allow­ing the wine to com­plete its fer­men­ta­tion.

We just released this vin­tage. This Caber­net Sauvi­gnon has a rich and full bod­ied fla­vor, low in tan­nin. This is an excel­lent­ly bal­anced wine; though hot due to an alco­hol con­tent of 15.4%. This does not take away from the taste. Cur­rent­ly this is my favorite among our wines.

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