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Mettler Ranch

Wine Grape Spotlight: Mettler Ranch Zinfandel

Wine Grape Spotlight: Mettler Ranch Zinfandel

Mettler Zinfandel-winemaking-hwo to make wine-zinfandel-musto wine grape

When making Mettler Ranch Zinfandel you can create a wine with earthy and smoky aromas. Along with a complex medley of flavors including plum, blackberry jam, tobacco, anise, and sweet oak. The sturdy but softly integrated tannins yield to subtle oak notes (if you make an oak addition) as the wine lingers on the palate. These grapes create a wine full of Zinfandel personality! Winemaker Adam Mettler suggests some light French oak to add a little extra complexity.

If you can hold off drinking your wine right away and lay it down for 1-2 years it will only gain more of that zesty, delicious personality. If you’re interested in trying out a different Zin this year, Mettler Ranch is a great choice. Email sales@juicegrape.com or call the office at 877-812-1137 for more details on how to reserve these grapes.

The Mettler Family has been farming wine grapes since the 1800’s. Recognized in the Agricultural Hall of Fame, they are 8th generation grape growers in Lodi, CA. With over 800 acres farmed in Lodi county, some vineyards being upwards of 100 years old, these vines are meticulously managed and maintained. All of their vineyards are LODI RULES certified and some are Certified Organic through the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers).

Lodi has a classic Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cool, moist winters. The dry warm summer days allow Lodi grapes to develop full, ripe fruit flavors while the distinctive breezes maintain the natural acidity for structure and complexity in finished wines.

The Mettler Zinfandel is sourced from their vineyards by the Mokelumne River, referred to as “Old Lodi.” The soil is sandy and this sub appellation is known for being an epicenter for Old Vine Zinfandel. The vines are 50 years old, sustainably farmed, and certified through LODI RULES.

Making Mettler Ranch Zinfandel (5-6 gallons):

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Ingredients:

Yeast Suggestions:

Equipment:

Winemaking Steps:

  1. Sanitize and Crush and Destem – Inspect your grapes. Crush and destem into clean and sanitized food grade 50LTR fermenting tub. Always allow an extra 20% of volume for fermentation purposes as the wine will “expand” throughout fermentation. Always rinse your fermentation vessel with a sanitizing strength potassium metabisulfite solution (2oz/gallon or 3tbsp/gallon). Make sure that the sanitizing solution touches all the surfaces of the fermentation vessel and that the vessel is completely emptied out of all sanitizing solution after. Shake free any drops as best you can from the fermentation vessel. Having remaining sulfite liquid in the vessel will prohibit fermentation. Do not rinse the sanitizer off with water after sanitizing as that will reintroduce bacteria to the environment.
  2. Once all of the grapes are crushed, try to accurately measure your quantity of must. Add ¼ tsp of potassium metabisulfite for every 5 gallons of must that you have. Mix up the must thoroughly.
  3.  ALWAYS record the additions you make to your grape must!
  4. Wait for 6-8 hours after the sulfite addition and then add color pro to the must. Always mix it with water to create a 10% solution (if you use 5mls of enzyme, mix it with 45mls of water). The water allows it to better circulate throughout the must. Allow the pectic enzyme to work for 12 hours before yeast set.
  5. Twenty four hours after crushing the grapes, mix the container thoroughly and take and record your measurements. Measure Brix, pH, and TA. If you need to adjust your must at all, this is the time to do it. Ideally your Brix should be between 23-28 degrees, the pH between 3.4-3.7, and the TA between 6-7g/L. Your initial Brix reading, multiplied by .55, will give you a close estimate of your ending alcohol by volume percentage.
  6. If you would like to use fermentation tannins (FT Rouge, oak dust) or fermentation nutrients such as Opti-Red, add them after measurements and adjustments have been made. Mix any of these ingredients in thoroughly.
  7. After measurements have been taken and any adjustments have been made, it is time to set yeast if you are using a cultured yeast strain. Follow the yeast set directions on the packet explicitly.
  8. After you get to temperature and add your yeast, you may cover the vessel lightly with an old sheet or towel or place the lid gently on top of the bucket.
  9. Obtain a must punch tool, a long stainless steel spoon, or your bare hands, and sanitize your tool or hands with sulfite sanitizer. This is what you will use to “punch down” or mix up the must three times a day. Try to mix everything very well, pushing all of the skins back down to the bottom, getting them very wet, and bringing up the piqued from the bottom. This should be done as often as possible, preferably three times a day. [Before work (7am), after work(5pm), and before bed (10pm)] When punching down every evening, take a sample of the liquid and using your hydrometer, track the Brix depletion. You should notice a drop in Brix daily. Always record your additions to your must, your brix depletion, and punch downs.
  10. If you are using additional yeast nutrients to assist in fermentation you will add them after fermentation has started. Fermaid O is added at the beginning of fermentation (1 day after yeast set) and Fermaid K will be added at 1/3 depletion of the Brix (2/3 of the beginning amount of Brix). Follow the directions for the individual yeast nutrient, hydrating with water and mixing thoroughly.
  11. If you are adding malolactic cultures to your wine, you may also chose to do this at 1/3 Brix depletion. Follow all directions on the bacteria and nutrient packets explicitly.
  12. Punch down and take Brix measurements daily. When your hydrometer reads 0.90, you have fermented to dryness. At this point your malolactic fermentation may still continue, but the primary alcoholic fermentation is complete. You may now press the wine. Wash the press and sanitize using potassium metabisulfite. Again, make sure the press does not have any excessive puddles or lingering amounts of sanitizing solution remaining. Sanitize the receiving container carboy and any pumps or tubing that you may use. Anything that comes into contact with the wine should be rinsed with sulfite sanitizing solution. Place a screen (also sanitized) inside of the press to hold back any extra skins or seeds from getting through. Start scooping up the must and placing it in the press. Some of the liquid will immediately flow through, this is the “free run”. When the press is full, slowly begin pressing. Do not try and press every last drop out of the must as this can lead to seed cracking and bitterness in the wine. Fill each container to within ½” of the top and secure a bung and airlock in place. Malolactic fermentation will exude a small amount of carbon dioxide and there will be trapped gas within the wine that will need to escape the container.
  13. Allow the wine to sit for 2-3 weeks. You can conduct malolactic chromatography or bring a sample to a winemaker at Musto Wine Grape for analysis to ensure that your secondary fermentation is finished. At this point you should see a nice thick layer of lees in the bottom of the carboy. You will want to place the full vessel onto an elevated surface such as a table and place the new, sanitized, empty vessel on the floor below. Using a sanitized siphon, rack the wine into the new carboy. You may have space at the top which will need to be “topped off” with more wine. You can either use wine from another container, or finished wine to do this. It is very important that there is less than a 1/2” of headspace in each container. At this point you should also add 1/4tsp of potassium metabisulfite per 5 gallons of wine.
  14. Now it is time to let your wine age. You will need to rack it and add additional SO₂ every 3 months. Make sure you sanitize all equipment and containers when racking and keep them topped off within ½”. Come visit Musto Wine Grape for bottling advice and supplies.

For more winemaking details check out the posts below:

Awards won by Mettler 2017 Lodi “Epicenter” Old Vine Zinfandel:

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  • 93 Points, Best of Class & Gold Medal – 2019 Los Angeles Wine Competition
  • 91 Points – Wine Enthusiast Magazine (February 2020)
  • 91 Points & Gold Medal – 2019 Sunset Int’l Wine Competition
  • 91 Points – 2019 California State Fair
  • Gold Medal – 2018 San Francisco International Wine Competition

If you are interested in purchasing wine grapes or winemaking juices this fall please email sales@juicegrape.com or call 877-812-1137 for pricing and information. We are looking forward to speaking with you about your 2020 vintage!

Mettler Ranch – Musto’s Newest Vineyard in Lodi, CA

The Mettler Ranch

Musto Wine Grape is excited to announce their newest vineyard addition, the Mettler Ranch. The Mettler family has been farming wine grapes since the 1770’s in California. They focused their vineyard growing in Lodi in the 1800’s. Their family is now in its eighth generation of wine grape growing, with the 6th and 7th generation both recipients of the Agricultural Hall of Fame. It’s safe to say that vineyard farming is in their blood.

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Regardless of their history, the Mettler family is constantly introducing new and progressive practices to create high quality wine grapes. They farm all of their vineyards sustainably (via LODI RULES) and as organically as possible; with certain blocks being certified organic by the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). They use integrated pest management, cover crops, composting; and disease control through trellising, shoot positioning and leaf removal. The Mettler’s believe in farming the land for healthy vines and consistent wine quality.

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Organic Farming at a Glance:

Soil:

  • Building organic matter within the soil is key to organic farming. You must feed the soil in order to feed the plant. The balance of the soil structure is critical not only in organic farming but to the overall health of the vine.
  • Cover crops in vineyards are used to fix nitrogen and soil tilth. They create a habitat for beneficial insects and reduce erosion. Cover crops can also be helpful in weed control, and reduces air pollution by keeping dust down in the vineyards
  • Use of compost on the vineyards floor if needed.

Disease Control:

  • Prevention is key
  • Modern trellising, shoot positioning, and leaf removal allow sunlight penetration and air flow into the vine’s canopy, greatly reducing mildew pressure.

Pest Control:

  • Organic farmers must encourage a healthy ecosystem; to include and encourage predatory insect species, which eat pests
    o By not using pesticides, beneficial insects remain in the vineyards.
  • Owl boxes placed in vineyards create a natural form of pest control

 Weed Control:

  • Mechanized in-row cultivator
  • Hand hoeing

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The Mettler family farms over 800 acres in the Lodi Appellation, some of which date back to their family’s original properties which are over 100 years old. In keeping with their progressive nature, they were the first to introduce French clones in the Lodi region. The family is very focused on producing wine grapes that make consistent and richly crafted wines.

PS- you might have noticed Berton Costamagna from Delta Packing (another one of our Lodi wine grape providers) in the Mettler family photo. This is because Berton is married to Kelli Mettler (now Costagmagna). Kelli is head of Wine Sales for her family’s winery. You might have met Kelli and Berton at our last Winemaker Competition Celebration. As a family run business, we at Musto Wine Grape love being able to work with other growing family businesses. If you visit Mettler Vineyards you’ll see their wine dogs and next generation running around in the vineyard, including Berton and Kelli’s son Caden.

Wine Grape Varieties Available:

  • Pinotage
  • Grenache Noir
  • Merlot
  • Petite Sirah
  • Syrah
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Zinfandel
  • Sangiovese

*All grape varieties are available in 36lb cases or in frozen must by request

The Mettler Vineyards:

Mettler family-wine grapes-lodi-winemaking-winemaking instructions-how to make wine-musto wine grape

The Mettler Vineyards are located in Lodi’s Mediterranean Climate. Warm, dry summers, and cool moist winters. The dry warm summer days allow Lodi grapes to develop ripe fruit flavors while the distinctive breezes maintain the natural acidity for structure and complexity in the finished wines.

Mettler’s Wines of Distinction:

The Mettler family has their own winery located in Lodi, CA. Their winemaker, Adam Mettler recently won Winemaker of the Year from Wine Enthusiast. He creates award winning wines for many wineries in Lodi, including his family’s winery.

Awards Received:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Red, velvety and complex with true varietal characteristics
    • 92 Points – Wine Enthusiast 2019
    • 91 Points – Wine Enthusiast 2020
  • Petite Sirah: Deep and layered with concentrate flavors and excellent balance
    • 94 Points – Wine Enthusiast 2019
    • #33 of the Top 100 Wines of 2019 – Wine Enthusiast
    • 92 Points – Wine Enthusiast 2020
  • Old Vine Zinfandel: Hearty and full bodied with a genuine “zin” personality
    • 91 Points – Wine Enthusiast (Feb. 2020)
    • 92 Points – Wine Enthusiast (April 2020)

For more information regarding the Fall Harvest please feel free to contact us at sales@juicegrape.com or give us a call at 877-812-1137. We are looking forward to helping you with your next great wine!

Our Growers and thier wineries are winning awards!

We want to give a BIG Congratulations to our Growers for winning multiple prestigious awards at the San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition!!

Our Lodi Growers:

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2016 Zinderella Old Vine Zinfandel – GOLD Medal
2017 Albarino from Mettler Ranch – SILVER Medal
2016 Zinfandel from Mettler Ranch – SILVER Medal
2016 Petite Sirah from Mettler Ranch – GOLD Medal
2016 Cabernet from Mettler Ranch – SILVER Medal

Our Suisun Valley, Lanza Musto Vineyards Growers:

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2018 Wooden Valley Sauvignon Blanc – GOLD Medal
2016 Wooden Valley Zinfandel – GOLD Medal
2017 Wooden Valley Malbec – GOLD Medal
2016 Lanza Family Petite Sirah – DOUBLE GOLD Medal
2016 Lanza Family Cabernet – GOLD Medal

Click the link below to see the full list of winners. Great wine starts in the vineyard!

Link: http://winejudging.com/medal-winners/