Today we are chatting Carbonic Maceration!
Phase two of our Shiraz XPA Hybrid involves a foray into an old winemaking technique. By leaving whole Shiraz fruit under a blanket of carbon dioxide, there is an enzymatic breakdown of the juice within each individual fruit. This is distinct from mechanical maceration of the fruit by pressing, or stomping if you’re that way inclined.
Rather than a microbial fermentation, from native bacteria and yeast that only live on the outside of the fruit, carbonic maceration allows the breakdown of the juices enzymatically. This results in much more jammy, fruity and vibrant Shiraz flavours.
The real hindrance to carbonic maceration in modern wineries is that the fruit needs to be in-tact, which means delicate hand-picking. Luckily for us, the legends @citywinerybne love a good hand-picking. So a day trip out to the Granite Belt resulted in 100kg of Shiraz bunches, that went straight into the brite tank at Doggett St, stems and all, on the same day. A solid carbon dioxide purge and the fruit will macerate for 5-8 days, until they breakdown naturally, themselves.
We will then be looking for some skin contact of our fermented Shiraz XPA, on this juice, to imbue the rich blueberry and cherry flavours from the Shiraz.
Who knows where this is all leading, but it’s a tad geeky and a little bit Wednesday.