Month: August 2020

Wine 101: Pre and Post-fermentation Adjustments

There are certain adjustments winemakers can make to a must wine, pre or post-fermentation. The goal is always to make a more balanced wine, so any and all adjustments should be monitored and measured carefully. Also note that, in many regions, the amount of adjustment(s) that can be made are strictly regulated.

I find I get the pre- and post-fermentation adjustments confused, so thought I’d create a little study guide here. Enjoy.


Wine 101: Oxidative versus Reductive Winemaking (and a note about Sulphur Dioxide)

I have to say that studying oxidative versus reductive winemaking methods has really put into perspective some of the aromas I pick up when tasting. I distinctly remember sitting around a table at work, tasting through wines with my colleagues, and it was quite obvious one of them was off. I knew it smelled, I knew it tasted funny. But I couldn’t tell you why. And then one (industry veteran) piped up to say that this wine had undergone reductive winemaking and the winemaker took it just a tad too far.

Well, studying this bit, I now understand how he came to that conclusion.


This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: August 2—August 7

Happy Saturday all. Hope you don’t mind, I took a few days off following my birthday/WSET Diploma Level 1 exam…extravaganza weekend. But I have, of course, been keeping up with the latest wine (and food) news. So let’s take a look at what’s going on lately.

Locally, Sonoma (finally) has implemented fines for breaching (what I call) COVID-courtesies. So mask up if you’re coming up to Wine Country or pay the price—literally. In spite of that, a common phrase around here is, “The grapes don’t know there’s a pandemic.” True enough, and harvest has officially kicked off. If you’re in the industry getting ready for harvest, be sure to check out the Wine Institute’s harvest protocols webinar materials. Also of interest my industry readers may be Nielsen’s latest data on COVID impacts on on-premise sales and UC Davis’s white paper on developments in remedying smoke-tainted grapes.

Looking around the world, Japan has a fun new canopy management situation; Portugal is making waves as a leader in the fight against climate change; and the quality of the Chinese wine-scene may be on the rise.

And don’t forget to scroll down to the Blogs for some independent insight and fun, including a top 16 list of the best wine-related documentaries to watch.

Lastly, on a personal note, if you haven’t seen the latest in my video series with Wine Industry Network, check out my interviews with Dry Creek Vineyard President, Kim Stare Wallace, and Tablas Creek General Manager/Proprietor, Jason Haas. More to come, so keep your stations tuned to WIN.

And I have received a few inquiries about my posts chronicling my WSET journey. I’ve pulled them down for now—the goal is to edit and consolidate for clarity and organization. So if you are/were looking for those or wondering what the story is, that’s it. I’ll try to get them back up if/when I can. Thank you for your patience with that.

That’s all for now. Hope everyone’s doing well. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment, write me a note, connect with me on social. Would be nice to hear from you.



Wine 101: Canopy Management

As much as we like to hear the term “hands-off” vineyard management and winemaking, let’s face it, that will never be 100% true. Vines have a natural tendancy to sprawl and crawl—they don’t know they’re supposed to make balanced wine. And, so, we study canopy management.

GDC Trellis Design 6ft spacing | Virtual Viticulture Academy
GDC Trellis Design 6ft spacing | Virtual Viticulture Academy