By Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Escarpment Editor
This video was shot last week at Freedom Run Winery in Lockport, NY. Cabernet franc and merlot were both pulled before another round of wet weather moved through the area. The vineyards are on the upper slope on the escarpment where there is a significant amount of clay in the soil and things can get very sloppy for days after serious precipitation.
The vineyard was thinned to 2.5 tons per acre, with an initial sorting in the vineyard followed by another sorting seen on the video before crushing.
From what I saw the sorting was not for rot or diseased fruit rather just to make sure any under ripe clusters didn't make it into the must. I was told there is up to a 3º brix difference in some of the redder, less ripe bunches so in a year like 2009, no one wanted to take any chances.
In the interest of science and concentrating flavors, a bleed off of juice was done on half the must, meaning there are two separate fermentations happening one with bleed off, one without. A Rhone yeast was selected for inoculation based on a desire for maximum extraction and a full mouth-feel.