This year, I grabbed 300 pounds of Petite Sirah grapes. I’ve found that these single varietal dry reds use quite a different process than fruit wines. The vineyard will wait to harvest the grape until it reaches the ideal brix for that varietal so to the winemaker the variables are a bit more controlled than that of a typical fruit wine where the variables are all over the place.

One of the things we do in red wine is undergo malolactic fermentation. This is where malic acid is converted to lactic acid… contributing to more rounded flavors and mouth-feel.

We need to know when malolactic fermentation is completed and we do this through the use of paper chromatography. In this video, I demonstrate the test and explain it as best I can. Hope it’s helpful.