Archive: Winery Info

Wine Brotherhoods: Sharing a Passion for Wine

Michael Broadbent, British wine critic and author, wrote: “Drinking good wine, with good food, in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures.” This, perhaps, is one reason why wine lovers have assembled for centuries in communities known as brotherhoods. These brotherhoods offer oenophiles an opportunity for fellowship, education and conviviality as they come together to share the wines of the world. In the United States, America’s first and oldest brotherhood — and one of the most active — is the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine (KOV). KOV was founded in 1964 and is a charter member of the not-for-profit Fédération Internationale des Confréries Bachiques (FICB), a descendant of the ancient wine brotherhoods of pre-revolutionary France. The […]

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Micro-Manager, Microbe Manager or Winemaker? One in the Same

Winemakers often say winemaking is 95 percent cleaning. In successful wineries, this is very nearly true. Vintners should understand the core sanitation principals to keep their winery looking new, shiny, appealing to customers and microbe free. The importance of knowing how water works, the ways to have physical cleanliness, and how to understand sanitation versus sterilization are essential for any winemaker looking to improve the cleanliness of their winery. Sanitation Versus Sterilization Sanitation is a cleaning operation with a bacteria killing agent that will reduce the microbial population, but it may not eliminate the complete bacterial load. This reduction may be enough for product stability at certain points of the production. Sterilization is the complete “kill” of all microbes, and […]

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The Importance of pH in Winemaking

In a recent symposium, a speaker stood at the podium. He began to speak, telling the audience that if stranded on a deserted island and grapes were planted there, and he was allowed only three items, he could make some excellent wine. The three items were a wine glass, a high-quality pH meter, and an accurate and precise tool to measure sulfur dioxide. In this statement, the speaker gave each attendee an idea of the importance of pH in making wine. Understanding the relationship of pH to wine is necessary for every winemaker to understand not only how to handle wine well but to predict where an individual wine’s development may be heading. Using the experiences drawn from past winemaking […]

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Ensuring Customer Trust Through The Sweetness Scale

When consumers pick up a bottle of wine, it is deliberate. People have certain preferences in style and taste, and with that comes expectations. When trying something new that is similar to what they’ve had before, it can be quite shocking when a wine tastes too dry or too sweet from what they’ve had in the past. Of course, as a winery, you want to stand out among a bevy of similar styles, but not in a way that will put off your customers. So how can a winery maintain their signature taste while letting their customers know what to expect? For some wineries, the inclusion of a sweetness scale on the label has relieved this concern, and made fans […]

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Filtration

Filtration and clarification are critical aspects of fine wine making. Many winemakers work hard getting their wines opulently clear but do they understand what is happening, what the choices of filtration are and, if a wine is clear, will it remain clear? The Webster definition of “filter” is “A device containing a porous substance through which a liquid or gas can be passed to separate out suspended matter”. In the majority of instances filtration is the physical removal of solid objects, in suspension, by way of a mechanical means. In most cases the wine is forced through a filter media by way of positive pressure. In only one case the author is aware a vacuum is used. The Typical Types […]

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Nothing But The Truth: The Importance of Accuracy in Wine Production and Labels

How important is it to be truthful on wine labels? As a California winemaker recently found out, asserting accurate claims is extremely important. In November, a federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted winemaker Jeffrey Hill of Napa Valley, California for mail and wire fraud in connection to the operation of his wine company. Mr. Hill ran Hill Wine Company out of Napa, and was producing and selling wine (including juice and bulk wine) and operating a tasting room on the Silverado Trail. Mr. Hill also used winemaking equipment at other winemaking facilities that were owned and operated by other wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties. According to the indictment, Mr. Hill defrauded consumers by misrepresenting the geographic origin and […]

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WINE IN CANS

Taking Cans Where Bottles Can’t Go It’s Saturday afternoon and you’re going river rafting with a group of people, you have a picnic packed in your cooler and you see the sign that says “No bottles.” No problem. Or you meet your friends at the beach for sunset, another sign “No bottles.” Again, not a problem. Your ace in the hole? You have wine in cans. The Market Canned wines are transforming picnic baskets around the world. You drink it directly from the can, like you do a beer. It’s the perfect drinking vessel. Today a handful of wineries are adding cans to their bottling lines. Don’t panic, wine in cans is meant for easy-drinking wines. Not wines that are […]

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Wine Trends in Canada

The Canadian wine industry generates employment through production, manufacturing, and tourism. Canada is known for its famous Ice Wine, a rich, high-quality product. Although Canada is not a major producer like other European countries, the Canadian winemaking industry generates substantial economic benefits. The steadily growing population has led to the growth of a healthy, knowledgeable, and adventurous consumers. A steady but growing wine market has enabled Canada to have an increased number of regular drinkers. There are presently two million adults who drink wine at least once a month. Additionally, Canada is the 12th largest wine drinking nation, and there is bound to be better optics as millennials are exposed to the wine culture. As of 2012, Canadians were nearly […]

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OLIVER WINERY: From the Basement to the Big Leagues

In the 1960s, when the late Indiana University law professor Bill Oliver began growing grapes in his basement as a hobby, he could hardly have envisioned that the wine industry would grow into the giant that it is today. Nor could he have imagined that he was planting the seeds for what was to become the largest winery in Indiana, and one of the biggest east of the Mississippi. It was Oliver’s passion for winemaking that inspired him to move out of the basement and establish a 30-acre vineyard northwest of Bloomington. At the time, there was no shortage of skeptics. Few people other than hobbyists were “tinkering” with wine; and besides, selling wine commercially wasn’t even legal. In 1971 […]

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‘Locally Grown’ Movement Helps to Fuel Iowa’s Winery Business

Vitis riparia, in the lexicon of Iowa vintners, roughly translates to “profit potential.” It certainly might explain the reason wineries have sprung up across the state — indeed, the Northeast and Upper Midwest — over the last 20 years. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded the Northern Grapes Project, partially in response to the emergence of a cottage industry of wineries in Northern states. In Iowa alone, more than 100 wineries sprouted, feeding on the encouragement of state economic developers and agriculture officials. It all stems from cold-loving Vitis riparia-based wine grape cultivars. These varieties survive in climatic extremes that easily quash their tender, succulent cousins in the coastal vineyards of California, […]

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