|Ariana Peju's First Yeast Inoculation!|
This year, Ariana, youngest of the two Peju daughters and a Proprietor of the company, will be spending two days per week with the Production team working harvest! Last year, it was big sister Lisa who tried her hand at the production side of the business. Now it’s Ariana’s turn to sort grapes, operate pumps, maneuver heavy hoses, sanitize equipment, pump-over the fermenting fruit, and perform all the other simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating harvest-time tasks. Today, she did her first yeast inoculation. From the puff-factor of the foam, we can see she made these yeast very happy.
Here's a quick summary of yeast inoculation: Yeast are delivered to us in dormant, powder form. By adding yeast to just the right amount of water at just the right temperature (between 100 and 106 degrees Fahrenheit), we wake them from their dormant state. At this point, little by little, we add grape juice from the tank they will be pitched into once they reach a close-enough temperature. (Remember, the yeast started at ~103 degrees, and the juice in the tank is around 55 for reds and colder for whites.) As the yeast start metabolizing the sugar in the juice, they become ‘happy’ (very technical winemaking term) and expand. Happy yeast mean a smoother fermentation process with less opportunity for unwanted organisms to find their way in. Ariana’s yeast are looking very happy! Congrats, Ariana, on a successful first inoculation!