Bottling my 2016 Zinfandel

Summer 2016 luncheon with Carl Cocita (at left).

In the summer of 2016 I hosted a luncheon in our backyard gazebo with Carl Cocita of Collinwood Grape Company in Cleveland, along with some of my fellow members of the Wisconsin Vintners Association. The result was that we decided to order from Carl two tons of Zinfandel grapes from the Amador region in California and about 600 pounds of Petite Sirah grapes from the Lodi area. In late September the grapes arrived via refrigerated semi-truck and we proceeded to unload them and begin the crush. About 25 WVA members had purchased grapes from this crush, and now each of them took their crushed grapes (now called must) home to ferment.

The motorized crusher/destemmer separates the stems from the grapes, thus removing the stems’ harsh tannins from the must.










Once home, my Zinfandel grapes went into my primary fermenter, which I kept on our front porch. My fermentation lasted 7 days. Two months later, my young Zin wine, which I blended with a bit of Petite Sirah (10%) and Muscat wine (5%), was racked into two 20-gallon oak barrels in my basement cantina for longterm aging.

Primary fermentation

After 17 months of barrel aging, this 2016 Zinfandel wine was bottled, using Lillian’s original artwork as the label. The label depicts the fermentation process, as well as the fact that to reach the Franzoi Cantina one must descend into the depths of our house.

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