We picked two different lots of Pinot noir last week. Both lots went from the vineyard to the winery for crushing/de-stemming and then into tanks to undergo a cold maceration (“cold soak”). Keeping the grape juice and skins in a cool environment for a couple of days makes several things happen:
- compounds from the grapes get extracted into the must
- color is extracted from the skins which helps create a darker colored juice
- the aromatics of the wine are increased as elements from the skins, seeds, and grape body seep into the juice
- it reduces the chances of a spontaneous fermentation
In one of our lots, a spontaneous fermentation began on day 3 so we let it kick off for a day before inoculating it with yeast. We’ll go into detail about inoculation in another post.