Archive: Winery Info

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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Cleaning, sanitation key processes in wineries

It isn’t enough to master the art of creating a Nectar of the Gods if the devils of dirt, germs and bacteria are potentially lurking in every crevice, nook and tube in a winery. Winemakers must have a comprehensive battle plan to defend against such mortal enemies. That demands a regular schedule – often daily – of cleaning and sanitation. “It’s estimated that winemaking is 75 to 80 percent cleaning,” said Jennie Savits, enology specialist with the Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State University. “A winery environment that is clean and sanitary will positively impact product quality, consistency and safety.” The 75 to 80 percent figure is a low-end estimate of the priority cleaning takes, according to […]

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Filtration in the Winery

Filtration has been used in commercial winemaking for decades, but manufacturers are continually working to improve the process to maximize its usefulness while minimizing potential side effects. Benefits of Filtration Filtering is typically the last step in the winemaking process before bottling. Filtering offers winemakers the ability to ensure product consistency, avoid spoilage by removing yeast and bacteria, enhance freshness, and improve the wine’s overall appearance. However, it’s important to keep in mind that filtration passes should be kept to a minimum. Over-filtering wine creates the potential for dilution, dulls varietal freshness, and strips the product of aromatic lift. Filtration is the norm for makers of white wines, but opinions regarding filtration become murkier when working with red wine. The […]

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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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