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A bunch of posts about wine & SHORT SHEEP

A Drop Of Wine Knowledge: Wine Is So Fine(d)!

Waiter, Waiter! Why are there fish, eggs, milk & nuts in my wine?
Have you ever noticed…
…On the back of wine labels that your wine may contain fish, egg, milk or nut products?  Have you scratched your head to wonder why a product made from grapes would include this warning?  It’s because of fining – also known as clarification – a process winemakers use to remove any potential hazes and instabilities from finished wines.  It is definitely worth understanding, particularly…

Autumn in the Vineyard

Autumn Almanac
From the dew-soaked hedge creeps a crawly caterpillar
When the dawn begins to crack, it’s all part of my autumn almanac
Breeze blows leaves of a musty-colored yellow
So I sweep them in my sack, yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac

Friday evenings, people get together
Hiding from the weather, tea and toasted
Buttered currant buns, can’t compensate
For lack of sun because the summer’s all gone
Weather
Well the rains finally came! December brought 12 rainy days and 66mm, whilst January saw 75mm on 11…

barrels @ SHORT SHEEP

In the Pipeline – March 2015

Pre-Vintage Prep
Emptying The Barrels
In the lead up to the 2015 Vintage, all the remainder of our 2013 red wines have now been bottled, labelled, boxed and stowed away in the winery for release later this year, except for single barrels of Shiraz, Cabernet including the 2013 Black Sheep Cabernet/Shiraz blend and this year for the first time a Merlot have been reserved for further barrel aging.
Black Sheep Solera
In the last newsletter we mentioned the curious second barrel of 2012…

Summer in the Vineyard

Summer in the Vineyard

Summertime
In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather’s fine
You got women, you got women on your mind
Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find
Weather
Sadly, the only thing on our mind at the moment is rain! After the late vintage and Autumn rains of April, May & June Mudgee is looking as dry and scorched as we can recall since we arrived back in 2001.

We’ve…

barrels @ SHORT SHEEP

In the Pipeline – November 2014

2014 Vintage Red Wines Update
Low Yields
Owing to the late October 2013 frosts and dry/hot Summer months last vintage red wine production was significantly impacted with fruit lost and smaller berries and lower than our usual low yields. Just a single tonne of Merlot was picked and two lonely barrels made.
Malo-latic Fermentation
Now, as we head towards the long evening shadows of Summer the red wines have been sleeping for a few months after their first racking after initial barreling and…

Halloween BLOOD RED Festival Barrel Tasting

Halloween BLOOD RED Festival 2014

A Spooktacular Evening!
Tony climbs up and steals some blood from a barrel using a wine thief…
Frightening noises & lighting effects turned the Micro-Winery into a glowing red crypt in which beast on a stick & treacle treats were enjoyed by guests.

Click on the thumbnails below for a full sized pictures.

Malo Testing

Malo

After Primary Alcoholic (Yeast) Fermentation…
Red wines, and some white wines, are allowed and indeed encouraged to go through “Malo”, a secondary malolactic fermentation where harsh, unstable malic acid is converted into stable lactic acid and in the process slightly deacidifying the wine, softening the wine by reducing bitterness whilst enhancing fruitfulness & body and stabilising the wine for bottling.
This process occurs due to the action of a bacteria Oenococcis oeni that transforms each gram of malic acid (green apple…

Vineyard Walk @ SHORT SHEEP

Vineyard Walk : Vine Talk

As part of the Mudgee Fine Food Farm Walks program…
A group of 30 or so visit SHORT SHEEP for a stroll through the vineyard and enjoy a chat about the Micro-Winery on Easter Sunday 2014
Click on the photos in the gallery below!

Bentonite in winemaking

Bentonite

Bentonite
What is is used for in winemaking?

Bentonite is a volcanic clay that is used to clarify wines. Its negative electrostatic charge and hydrogen bonding causes suspended particles in the wine to cling to it as it settles to the bottom of tanks under gravity.

Visitors Jane & Jamie examine the 2014 Semillon bentonite trials

Each bottle is filled with the wine and mixed with various amounts of food grade bentonite –  0.5 to 3 grams per litre – to determine the…

Grapes to Wine

Did you Know?
1 acre of low yield vines = 2 tonnes of grapes
One acre of vines produces 2 to 4 tonnes of grapes – low yield for high quality wines, cheaper wines can crop around 10 tonnes an acre.
1/2 tonne of grapes = 1 barrel of wine
SHORT SHEEP crushes and ferments 1.5 tonne red grape batches which produces enough wine to fill 3 barrels with top ups for wine that evaporates through the barrel.

White & red grapes are crushed…

Blending Wines

Blending

How do we blend wines?
Each vintage our wine goes into a variety of barrels – French, American, Hungarian, some new, some not so new and some old!

After a year Tony & Sue taste off the wines and  argue agree about which ones will be blended together and bottled for the Vineyard Release. Often visitors to the Micro-Winery are asked their their opinion too.

Selected wines continue their journey for another year in a barrel, generally old so as not to over…