Archive: Winery Info

Barrel Care (Part 2)

  Continued from Part 1 which ran in the January – February 2018 issue of The Grapevine Magazine. Monthly Management Whether full or empty, each barrel needs monthly attention. Try to store full and empty barrels at or as near 50 degrees F when possible. When full: One will need to taste and check the free Sulfur Dioxide and pHs of these wines monthly at a minimum. After this check, additions can be made to the wines in the barrel and then they can be topped. Topping is one of the keys to keeping a barrel safe from bacteria spoilage. The wines must be of sound chemistry to make this a successful statement and the topping wines need to be […]

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CHANGING OUR THINKING FOR THE DIGITAL AGE

Wineries, as their true selves, are an agricultural business. Sagacious written advice for agriculture success has been around a long time – arguably since 800 BC when the Greeks wrote poetry now regarded as the first “farmer’s almanac.” But nothing in the past 2800 years has prepared us for the digital age. And, there is very little in a farmer’s world that seems in concert with a virtual one. But, our little cottage industry is growing up, and we need to adopt practices now employed by the rest of the digital direct marketing landscape. Here are four ways our current DTC business model is evolving: 1. Shipping will continue to morph into an absorbed COG Amazon has universally changed the […]

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Cold Hardy Grapes: University of Minnesota Releases the Itasca Grape

  Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer- what do they all have in common? They’re grapes that thrive in colder climates and sometimes survive long and arduous winters. In recent years, the University of Minnesota Grape Breeding and Enology Project has added Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, La Crescent and Marquette to that list. Now, they’ve added one more – Itasca. University of Minnesota, Grape Breeding and Enology Project The University of Minnesota Grape Breeding and Enology Project specializes in research and grapevine cultivar development. According to their mission statement, they also focus on understanding the mechanisms of disease and pest resistance to incorporate these traits and improve sustainability for Minnesota and other cold climate viticulture areas. Lastly, they focus on developing […]

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Designing a Commercial Production Winery with Expansion in Mind: Essential Elements, Layout Considerations, and Visitor Flow

Are you starting a winery while only considering what it will take to open your doors on day one? That’s a great place to start but big picture that can also be a huge mistake! Most wineries I have worked with experience at least 1 major expansion (if not 2) in their first 5 year of business. WHY? Well, in short because their business demands it. In the first 3 years you are likely to hit your stride and have a much better idea of consumer demand, and in turn your business will need to match that demand with supply (basic business 101). Generating more supply will require a larger working area in which to create and store the wine. […]

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Baker-Bird Winery: Tasting the History of American Wines

Most people assume that California is the birthplace of American wine. In fact, in the 1870’s — when California was just establishing commercial winemaking — tiny Bracken County, on the banks of the Ohio River in Kentucky Bluegrass Country, was the leading wine-producing county of the U.S., supplying over 30,000 gallons of wine annually. At the center of this production was Baker-Bird Winery, the oldest commercial winery in America that is still operating on its original land. “At the time, the Ohio River Valley was the place to grow grapes in the U.S.,” according to Dinah Bird, who purchased the winery in 2003 with the intention of bringing the property back to its glory days. “The German immigrants who settled […]

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Designing Wine Racks for Your Retail Space

    The love of the land, of the vine, of the grape, and of course, of the wine is the reason many vintners get into the wine industry. The idea of building a business with the sweat of your brow and creating a fantastic result is what motivates people to keep going. However, to make the dream a reality, you have to sell that product. Your product needs to appeal to the consumer through smell and taste, but also with a well-crafted label and an interesting bottle. Then, you need to show it to your customers in the best way possible. This is where a beautiful built display becomes essential. There are many ways of thinking about how to […]

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Part II – Defining “Optimal” Grape maturity for WineGrowers

Note: Part I – Published in the Nov./Dec. 2017 Issue of the GV. By: Piero Spada, Vineyard & Winery Consultant Defining “optimal” grape maturity is a bit like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. First and foremost, an ideal harvest point for “optimal” wine production more than likely doesn’t exist. After all, the grape itself is only concerned with how to increase it’s chances at reproducing, not making wine. Lastly, optimal maturity or ripeness is a subjective art form – both from a final wine style and aroma/flavor potential standpoint. Despite this challenge, there are several techniques you can utilize as a vineyard manager to increase and assess aroma potential in grapes. Taste The Fruit! The easiest method for […]

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Trends in Winery Buildings & Architectural Design

In today’s highly competitive wine industry, it’s not enough to produce top-notch wine. Modern wine enthusiasts are looking for a full and enriching experience centered on your handcrafted craft beverages, but that goes beyond a basic tasting. One of the best ways to do this is to create a functional and welcoming space that engages the senses and entices the imagination. In wine regions across the U.S., the meaning of wine buildings has been changing to emphasize a comprehensive wine lifestyle experience and accommodate special events in addition to basic operations. The Role of Redevelopment Redevelopment is significant in the wine industry for many reasons. For example, wineries can reduce their production costs and also streamline production with the right […]

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Post Fermentation Management Choices for Red Wines

“The winemaker is a warrior. He has to fight the vagaries of nature, storms, insects, disease, rot, hail and bad luck. This is why every bottle is worthy of respect and every glass must be drunk with the honor it deserves. That soil, that man, that fight, are embodied in your glass.” – Anonymous They say that a winemaker makes at least 2000 decisions during the winemaking process before the wine goes into the bottle. This statement was coined 20 years ago, even before items such as tannin additions, fining agents in the gelatin family that have specific target sites and micro-oxidation, were added to our toolbox. This article will assist the winemaker in making adjustments to red wine after […]

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Wine’s Growing Presence in Unexpected Settings

What does a hair salon, furniture store, and dog boutique have in common? Surprisingly, the one element they all have in common is this: wine! For a variety of reasons, wine is being served in venues that are distinctly different from the usual bars, restaurants, and banquet halls. In California, a glass of wine is replacing the complimentary cup of coffee at hair salons, thanks to a new law allowing beauty salons and barbershops to serve beer and wine without a liquor license. At Bark Fifth Avenue, a luxury boutique for dogs in Atlanta, Georgia, customers are served a glass of Chandon “on the house” while busily shopping for luxurious carriers, water dishes, beds, and other doggie essentials. According to […]

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