Aloha Kaena Friends & Followers!
Your Aloha Crew is proud to announce that our team survived the the long holiday weekend...talk about a total SCORCHER. At one point last Saturday, the temperature high in Los Olivos was recorded to be a raging 117 degrees! With one of the hottest weekends any of us could imagine, I myself feeling like I was going to pass out, it was time for some serious hydration.
With the temperatures reaching new heights, we decided it was the perfect time to talk about Bix and what role the levels play in the harvest/ winemaking process!
WHAT DOES THE TERM BRIX MEAN?
Named for A.F.W. Brix, a nineteenth-century German inventor, Brix scale is a system to measure the potential alcohol content of a wine before it's made by determining the sugar level. Each gram of sugar that is fermented will turn into about 1/2 gram of alcohol. The Brix (sugar content) is determinded and tested by a hydrometer or density meter, which indicates a liquid's Specific Gravity (the density of a liquid in relation to that of pure water).
Owner/ Winemaker Mikael Sigouin collecting early morning samples for Brix testing via Tierra Alta Vineyard (Ballard Canyon)
TALKING BRIX WITH MIKAEL
"When we talk Brix, we are looking for potential alcohol that is correlated by sugar. For roughly every two degrees Brix, there is an equivalent of 1% potential alcohol with the actual conversion rate being (1.8). So lets say if you pick at 24 brix, you should have a wine that is just above 12% alcohol. Along with flavor development, we then look at the pH and also make sure that the acid is in balance..then it's game on!" -Mikael Sigouin
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN EXTREME HEAT SPELL ?
"Basically, with the extreme heat the vines tend to shut off so there won't be much movement with sugar levels. What you do start to see is sun damage, leaves will start to fry and vines will become super water stressed. This means it is time to hydrate! Just like humans, the vines have to hydrate as well. If you are taking care of your vines right there should not be to much of a movement during a major heat spell." -Mikael Sigouin
Sauvignon Blanc from La Presa Vineyard is officially in the house!
With the warm weather continuing after the holiday weekend heat spell, the Brix rapidly picked up the pace once again. One of the first fruit picks of the week was the highly anticpipated Sauvignon Blanc from La Presa Vineyard. The tropical flavor profiles were extremely pronounced directly off of the vine offering hints of kiwi, star fruit, and passion fruit.
KAENA BRIX BREAK DOWN OF THE WEEK:
Viognier (Terra Alta Vineyard) = 23.1 BRIX
Albariño (La Presa Vineyard) = 23.7 BRIX
Riesling (La Presa Vineyard) = 22.5 BRIX
Sauvignon Blanc (La Presa Vineyard) = 23.7 BRIX
Mikael visiting the Kaena blocks via Tierra Alta Vineyard (Ballard Canyon)
It has been a crazy couple of weeks to say the least folks and your support and thirst for da kine keeps our spirits high and motivated. Get ready to see some amazing up and comming 2017 vintages!
Until next week Kaena fans.....
Kaena Wine Company