Routine Lees Maintenance!
It’s time for another Cellar Friday! And Friday’s in the Cellar often mean it is time for our weekly wine-maintenance tasks. Much like keeping your car in good working order with tune-ups and oil changes, wine in our barrels and tanks appreciate some regular love. Truly, for much of the year our wines are evolving at their own pace and our job is ‘simply’ to keep them happy and healthy.
Today’s goal is stirring the lees in some of our red and white wine barrels! Meagz is busy scrambling up and down the barrel stacks, physically moving around the lees at the bottom of each barrel with a special stirring tool. What are lees, and why bother with such an onerous task? Lees are primarily made up of the yeast that fall out after the end of fermentation. Far from being inert, however, these lees are still able to ‘scrub’ oxygen out of the wine and add a pleasant weight to the mouthfeel of the wine. Stirring them up makes sure these benefits mix throughout the barrel and – especially in removing oxygen – keeps the wine happy and stable for its many months in barrel.