This Issue of The Grapevine Magazine

PLANNING FOR TANKS: Choose the Right Vessel for Your Winery

The picturesque view of any wine cellar includes racks of wooden barrels rising majestically out of the shadows. It’s a classic association with the craft. The rich enhancement that North American, French or European oak provides varietals continues to be a matter of winemaker preference, which is why modern techniques often include a blend, if you will, of two steps: perhaps ferment grapes in a stainless steel or polyethylene tank, and age wine in a barrel. The nuances of the alchemy that emerge regarding the choice of vessels, how to control temperature, when to transfer, how long to age…these methods of understanding are as old and varied as the beverage itself. Even the original wine vessel, the clay amphora, straddles […]

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Pre-Harvest Planning

After a recent presentation I was approached and asked if I could do a thorough article on preparing for harvest. Preparing for harvest is critical and happens as an all year long process. Harvest is the “kick off” of a “working game”. It’s not a one-day process just before the first load of fruit arrives on the crush pad. We will go over the planning process of how to be most prepared and confident when the fruit of the growing season starts to arrive. Part of the plan may include taking a vacation so read on! Obtain a calendar: This will be the most useful tool for your planning from bottling, to fixing equipment and ordering yeast/chemicals etc. I prefer […]

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A Winery Guide to Hiring External DTC Services

If you weren’t born into it, you often get the question “how did you get into the wine industry?” For me, I worked for advertising agencies in Boston and San Francisco for 15 years before tuning in my expense account for leftover bottles in the tasting room. That was when I went “client side”, as we called it, and worked for Fosters Wine Estates, now Treasury. Moving from a service industry to being a client was an adjustment, and gave me an appreciation for internal struggles and roadblocks we were blissfully ignorant of on the outside. When I started WineGlass Marketing seven years ago, the structure of the big city agencies married with the understanding of client politics and the […]

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The Emerging World of Biopesticides in the Vineyard

As grape growers know, vineyards have common primary diseases – powdery mildew, botrytis and sour rot in the western U.S.; and downy mildew, black rot and Phomopsis in the eastern U.S. Many growers prefer to moderate the use of pesticides, or to be organic or sustainable. Modern thought is that we don’t want to use a lot of pesticides if we don’t need to. We want to find a way to mitigate the pests, grow healthy fruit and have healthy soil for years to come. We don’t want to see pesticides seeping into the groundwater and decimating our planet. Enter the philosophy of an Integrated Pest Management system (IPM), a complete mode of action for disease management. Global food security, […]

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Colleen FitzGerald: Napa’s Rising Star

More and more, women in the wine industry are making headlines as they join the ranks of a profession long-dominated by men. One of these women is Colleen FitzGerald, Assistant Winemaker at Pine Ridge Vineyards in the famed Stags Leap District in Napa. At the young age of 29, FitzGerald has parlayed her biochemistry major and years of harvest experience into a job on the front line of the winery. Raised in Pleasanton, California, FitzGerald’s began her journey at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo. A love of chemistry and an artistic sense that enabled her to truly appreciate a fine wine naturally gravitated FitzGerald toward enology when she graduated. And gravitate she did — to […]

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Update on Grapevine Leafroll and Red Blotch Diseases

Even for an experienced professional like me, it is difficult to distinguish leafroll from red blotch disease in the vineyard. This is especially true on red-fruited grapevine varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Pinot Noir. Vines infected with leafroll viruses produce smaller grape clusters that ripen unevenly and have a reduced sugar content. Foliar symptoms include downward rolling, reddening or yellowing of leaves depending on the grapevine variety. Other foliar colors associated with leafroll virus infection include pink, purple, and orange. The leaf veins may remain green or take many other colors (yellow, purple, red, etc.). Similarly, the most important negative effect of Grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV) infection in grapevines is the reduction of sugar accumulation resulting […]

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Pump Use in the Winery

In the winery, pumps have many uses. They are the veins of the winemaking process, transferring wine from one step to the next. However, not every pump makes sense for every function. With modern technology and pumps explicitly tuned to the needs of vintners, in today’s market, there are so many options that a winery could easily have a different pump for every movement. While this may not be practical for everyone, wineries now have many options when deciding what pumps are best for their purposes. With a little research and guidance, they can make the right choice. Get the Right Pump for the Job Bringing just any pump into a winery will not do. The winemaking process is a […]

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Don’t Let Trunk Disease Ruin Your Day….and Your Vineyard

It was around 2004 that I was reintroduced to trunk diseases when a client asked me to look at vine deaths in a young English vineyard. The planting was of four-year-old grafted vines from a European nursery. In the first year, approximately two percent of vines died and then replaced from the same source. The following year, more vines died and were again replaced, and the year following was the same pattern with even more deaths. The vineyard manager called, uncertain if he should continue to replant, and I was initially puzzled by what I saw. The vines were dormant, so there were not many apparent symptoms. I cut into some of the unhealthy vines and found internal staining extending […]

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That Kind of Stuff Doesn’t Happen to Me!

The uneasy phone call that no winery owner wants to make, “XYZ just happened, am I covered?!” I should rephrase that opening sentence, “The uneasy phone call that no one wants to make!” It is normally the usual, a fender bender at the grocery store, hail damage to the roof from last night’s thunderstorm, etc… On the rare occasion, and it does happen, I get the frantic call or text about a double walled stainless tank of wine that had a pinhole glycol leak. Or a filter that somehow contaminated the finished bottled wine and wasn’t noticed until months or years later. When I quote a winery for the first time, I always mention the Contamination and Spoilage of Product […]

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Special Events: Identifying Legal Issues – Part 1

Acres of rolling hills covered in fruit-covered vines are an idyllic setting for large gatherings and special events. But, for wineries, there are a host of legal concerns that must be addressed or they could lose their license or even be subject to criminal prosecution. ARE YOU ALLOWED TO HAVE THE EVENT? Whether it is a hosted event that is open to the public or a private event, like a wedding or anniversary party, the threshold question is whether the winery is even permitted to hold the event. Zoning Laws Zoning laws vary dramatically, not only state-to-state, but even among cities and counties within a state. Most, however, have some limitation on the number and/or size of special events. Wineries […]

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BC Winemakers: Pawns in Oil Pipeline Dispute

As winter started to fade this year in British Columbia, winemakers found their attention drawn toward an unexpected challenge. They became pawns in a political standoff over oil pipelines. Casualties in an inter-provincial fight that has nothing to do with them. Three main political parties dominate the federal and provincial government in Canada – the Liberal party, led by well known Prime Minister and selfie-taker, Justin Trudeau; the Conservative party; and the New Democrat party (NDP). Currently, the Liberal party leads the federal government, but each province also elects a provincial government of their choice. The two most western provinces, British Columbia (BC) and Alberta, have recently opted for the NDP after decades of Liberal and Conservative leadership. Having two […]

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What Wineries Should Know About Closures, Caps & Corks

The closure on top of a wine bottle does a whole lot more than stand as a barrier between you and your favorite beverage. And as a winemaker, the type of corks and caps used to seal wine bottles plays a significant role in how wine is preserved and perceived by your customers. Corks are the standard for wine, but screw caps and other closure have been gaining popularity. The stigma surrounding screw cap wine has been fading away to a certain extent, but tradition continues to be a big part of the culture and experience of drinking wine. Types of Wine Bottle Closures Wineries across America use different closures based on family traditions, adopted technologies, cost analysis, and sustainability […]

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12 Oldest Wine Companies In The World

      Which are the oldest wine companies? A question that crosses the minds of many wine enthusiasts. https://www.wineturtle.com/oldest-wine-companies/  to the  text “wineturtle.com The official birth of viticulture goes back to four thousand millennia before the birth of Christ. Since the early years of history, the wine was considered an elixir of the gods and a beverage reserved for the privileged few. Nowadays, wine is no longer an exclusivist drink, therefore enjoy a glass of sparkling Prosecco while finding out which are the 12 oldest wine companies in the world. 1. Staffelter Hof – Germany The Staffelter Hof is one of the oldest wine companies in Germany. Its name is linked to a monastery in Belgium and its winemaking history […]

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Gripple’s GP1 for Metal End Posts is Now Releasable! Buy now on JSC Ag Supply’s online store!

  Gripple’s GP1 is a single-channel (one way) joiner/tensioner that is the fastest way to terminate trellising wire at metal end posts.  And now it incorporates a new design feature that makes it easily adjusted and released on the wire with the use of the standard Gripple Release Key.  Using the GP1 is up to 4 times faster than knotting wire, and it can easily be re-tensioned after each harvest. Suitable for 15-11 ga. trellising wire, the GP1 can support a maximum load of 880 lbs.  For more information and a variety of agricultural supplies. JSC Agricultural Supply 855-707-5467  www.jscagsupply.com.  

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