Cold Soak & Pre-Fermentation

How We Do It

Red wine grapes often go through what is called a cold soak period after sorting and de-stemming and prior to fermentation. The must (grapes skins and juice) is held in small open top fermentation vessels and placed in a refrigerated room to keep it fresh and to prevent the onset of fermentation.  This allows the skins to release the color and flavor compounds that add so much to the complexity of red wine. Not all grape varieties need, nor benefit from, long soak periods.  Pinot Noir is a red grape that benefits most from extended cold soaks and helps early integration of its delegate flavors and aids to set color.

For robust reds we will sometimes apply the ancient pre-fermentation process of..."foot-stomp'n."  There is one very good reason for taking this step, unripe grape seeds.  If the seeds in the harvested grapes are green they can impart bitter tannins into the wine if they are split via mechanical crushing.  Foot stomping allows us to split the skins and release the juice to mix with skins with out cracking bitter grapes seeds.  "I Love Lucy" had it right!

The Best Vineyards
Great Grapes
Gentle Handling
Cold Soak & Pre-Fermentation
Small Lot Primary Fermentation
Gentle Press
Good Wood
Seconday Fermentation
Careful Monitoring
Our Pinot Noirs
Balinard Vineyards
Amber Ridge Vineyard
Bohemian Vineyards
Las Madres Vineyard