Evolution of Hermit Woods Winery’s Petite Blue

by Ken Hardcastle, Winemaker
December, 2016

Really excited about the approach of crafting the 2016 petite blue this season. In attempt to break out of the typical approach of choosing a singular press date after macerating the fruit for a set number of days, the ferment this season was separated into four containers, and each was pressed on a different date (last season, two press times were used). This allowed us to capture the fresh fruit flavors of a early presses, combined with the deep tannins and body of a late press fraction. These are then all combined to produce a wine with all the desirable attributes. The wine was pressed after six, seven, eight, and 12 days of maceration.
In addition, the pomace from the press at six days was put into the container that was later pressed after 12 days of total skin contact time. I will call this ‘Second Press Primary’ and will further explore this with other ferments for all its potential. This step served to really boost the deep tannins and body of the 12 day press and make full use of the potential of this exceptional fruit. Although all fractions were combined into the final product this season, a separate carboy of each press fraction was isolated for later consideration with the goal of determining the optimal ratio for future batches of petite blue.

blueberry-wine-tastingAs expected, the early press wines are more fruit forward and aromatic while the later pressed wines have a more pronounced body and long-lasting grip. The combined total batch of petite blue is a beautiful blend of all four press fractions resulting in a wine with great fruit aromas, flavors, big body, and long lasting finish. Really dialing this in …!


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