After Treatment Of The Wine
Even if the wine was perfectly fine and clear, when drawn off, it will
go through a second fermentation as soon as warm weather sets it--say
in May or June. If the wine is clear and fine, however, the
fermentation will be less violent, than if it is not so clear, as the
lees, which the wine has never entirely deposited; act as they ferment.
It is not safe or judicious, therefore, to bottle the wine _before_
fermentation is over. As soon as the wine has become
perfectly clear and fine again--generally in August or September--it
can be bottled. For bottling wine we need: 1st. clean bottles. 2d. good
corks, which must first be scalded with hot water, to soften them, and
draw out all impurities, and then soaked in cold water. 3d. a small
funnel. 4th. a small faucet. 5th. a cork-press, of iron or wood. 6th. a
light wooden mallet to drive in the corks.
After the faucet has been inserted in the cask, fill your bottles so
that there will be about an inch of room between the cork and the wine.
Let them stand about five minutes before you drive in the cork, which
should always be of rather full size, and made to fit by compressing it
with the press at one end. Then drive in the cork with the mallet, and
lay the bottles, either in sand on the cellar floor, or on a rack made
for that purpose. They should be laid so that the wine covers the cork,
to exclude all air.
The greater bulk of the wine, however, if yet on hand; can be kept in
casks. All the wine to be kept thus, should be racked once in about six
months, and the casks kept well filled. Most of our native wines,
however, are generally sold after the second racking in March, and a
great many even as soon as clear--in January.