February 21, 2006
Indulgence without limit
You can see the foamy, cream-coloured yeast fermenting our first batch of Chenin Blanc juice through the bung of the barrel.
A yeast cell is a tiny unicellular plant.
It just loves sugar.
The juice of a wine grape that has been left to hang on a healthy old vine is about one quarter sugar. When you put sugar-rich Chenin Blanc juice in a barrel, the yeast cells in the air meet up with the juice in an orgy of consumption that busloads of five-year-olds in an ice cream parlour could not match.
This Chenin Blanc juice was pressed from the grapes four days ago and put into this barrel. Its sugar is now being devoured by billions of yeast cells and out of this rabelasian feast we get the miracle of wine.
When the last orgasmic trace of sugar has been consumed, countless yeast cells will sink blissfully into slumber at the bottom of the liquid in the barrel.
Every week, we’ll come and stir the cells up with a 7 iron, because they have the extraordinary ability to keep the wine fresh as new over months of barrel maturation.
Posted by graham knox at February 21, 2006 5:12 PM
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What the 7 iron?
Posted by: Shane at March 8, 2006 7:43 PM