Or maybe a better title would be what we haven’t learnt so far… but that would take too long to write – and anyway, we don’t know what we haven’t learnt yet! The one thing we do know is that although everything isn’t finished yet for the 2011 vintage, we are already making plans for next year – which seems a frustratingly long time away. You can’t just go back and do it all again immediately – you have to wait for Nature to play its part and work alongside it to coax everything towards the finish line some 12 months away. You can’t rush this winemaking stuff!
With just over 750 Litres of wine from 2011, next year, we think we will:
- Change our Sipon vineyard almost entirely to single-Guyot. The test proved that although the yield was obviously lower, the quality of fruit borne by the vine was far superior.
- We will pick the Sipon earlier, to preserve acidity and freshness – and chaptalize by a maximum of half a degree of alcohol if necessary to compensate.
- We will do minimal punch-downs on the Modra Frankinja during maceration. Instead of 2 per day, we will endeavour to do just 1 midway through the whole fermentation – and in-between just keep the cap gently damp by pouring the occasional jug of must over it.
- We will definitely do the cold-soak on the Modra Frankinja again, but in conjunction with less agitation of the cap, we will endeavour to leave the skins in contact with the juice until well after the alcoholic fermentation in order to gain maximum complexity, but keep the tannins as fine and balanced as possible. We will also keep the temperatures low during fermentation and encourage a slow, drawn-out process. No funny looking heaters!
- On the other hand, we will most likely let the Sipon ferment at a higher temperature as we’re not too keen on the pear characteristics that seem to be emerging. However, we will also probably try a little pre-fermentation cold maceration to gain extra original fruit characteristics.
- We will always check the size of the barrels before filling them! In an ideal world, we will source some 500L large old oak casks and try fermenting some of the Modra Frankinja in these.