Archive: Winery Info

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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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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