Winemaker's Perspective: White Wine Production Process •

There’s something immediately refreshing about that first glimpse of harvested white wine grapes. For winemakers, white wine offers immediate satisfaction. These grapes often come onto the crush pad earlier than their black, burgundy, and red counterparts. Glistening with vitality, the production of white wine relies largely on the fruit itself. The clusters need to be ripe, healthy, and handled gently yet quickly. The main aim is to prevent oxidation along the entire process, from grape to mus

Learn About Catalonia's Wines & Wine Regions •

Or, as it is more commonly referred to in English, Catalonia. A region often considered a country within a country, any casual stroll through Barcelona glints at an air of distinct separation. From the coastal Mediterranean warmth along the hills towards the alpine foothills, the culinary and enological possibilities are endless. The Catalunya D.O. (Denominacio d’Origen or Designation of Origen) grows a dizzying array of grapes. Wines are made with Chardonnay, Grenache Blanca, Macabeo, Muscat,

How Red Wine is Made • Step By Step •

After harvest and crush, when the sweet juice of the fruit of the season is at long last captured, the real winemaking begins. Now that the grapes have given up their treasure, winemakers have some choices to make. Let’s start with the crush. Here, in the shaded confines of the winemaker’s lair, cellar work and decisions start with grapes that arrived from harvest and went through destemming (or not), maceration (generally on the skins), and the must (juice + skins) is ready for it’s first one

Smoke Taint - What it Is & How it Affects Grapes and Wine •

As California’s harvest draws down into the safe rest of the cellar, a second year of red and orange wildfire maps blanketed the west coast in a haze of concern…much of it justified. As they say, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” and so rather than fan the flames with murmurs and whispers of a ruined harvest, let’s look at what exactly smoke taint entails, how wineries and wine growers cope, and (most importantly) how you can breathe easy with your bottles. It was a tough year. The 2017 seaso

How To Explore Sonoma's Stunning Bohemian Highway

A 10-mile stretch of winding pavement openly mocks Gelette Burgess who wrote “there are no roads in all Bohemia!” The San Francisco author did rather hit the nail on the head with “one must choose and find one’s own path, be one’s own self, live one’s own life,” and so it’s deep in the heart of the Russian River Valley that we’ll find the truth of the unbothered, adventurous life chosen by many an artist, writer, and winemaker. The Bohemian Highway in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley calls to thos

Winemaker's Perspective: When Are Wine Grapes Ready For Harvest?

Each harvest presents a daunting question: are the grapes ripe yet? It’s a dauntingly vague question because, like beauty, optimal ripeness lies in the eye of the beholder. Or the palate of the beholder… My trusty friend Merriam-Webster defines ripe as ‘fully grown and developed’. (They also include the definition for ripe language, which is fun.) From the vine’s perspective, the goal is to ripen fruit sweet enough to attract birds (who will eat the grapes and leave the seeds along their path

Winemaking 101 - Part III: How To Get Into the Wine Industry

We all knew this moment was coming. You’ve seen your vineyard, you’ve walked through the cellar, and now it is time. If you’re ready to take the dive and get your hands dirty (and your feet wet, to be honest) then this is your post. But, all diving boards are not created equal. You may want to take the 20-foot plunge into full and over time harvest work. Or you may want to dip your does in slowly with a weekend excursion class. As I said in the first post of this series, the world of wine is as

Winemaking 101 - Fermentation & Crafting the "Juice"

We explored how wine is grown in our last discussion. Now we’ll explore how those gorgeous bunches of grapes turn from orbs of promise to barrels of wine. From red to white, sparkling to fortified, winemaking follows a fascinating process of craft and chemistry that mankind began refining in ancient times. Thanks to modern science, we understand what and how fresh grapes turn into complex wines. The first lesson you learn studying wine is that while there are infinite ways to fine tune your win

Winemaking 101 - Part I: Growing Vines in the Vineyard •

So, you like your bottles and glasses, and they like you back. But you want more. From pet vines (tastier than succulents, easier than orchids) to getting your hands wet in the cellar, the world of wine growing and making is vast and astoundingly easy to explore. For ease of exploration and the sheer joy of a field trip, let’s start with where wine is grown. You’ll find vineyards in every state of the continental US. And if it’s dirt you want, don’t limit yourself to only wine grapes. Grapes de

Oenotria: land of wine – invino –

It’s no secret that our Italian container recently landed. As excited as we are to get these wines ready for market, it’s worth a moment to stop and get the lay of the land and appreciate the full magnitude of what we’ve got on hands. The rule when writing about Italian wine is you simply cannot write about all of it. There’s just too much! Not only is the amount of wine made in Italy dizzying/staggering (only France exports more wine to the rest of the globe), but the country has as many wines

Age: So much more than just a number – invino –

You bought that special bottle so long ago. You squirreled it away, secret and safe, for the perfect occasion. The reviews all said that it would be good for “15 to 20 years.” Tonight is the night. After years of hunting, that perfect bottle of 1982 left bank Bordeaux is in your grasp. You swallowed your doubts, grabbed your wallet, and finally the tome of the perfect vintage arrived. Mom always did have a knack for keeping things. Old bell bottoms that saved Halloween that one year, the set o

ETS Laboratories Expands California Operations

The first ISO-accredited wine laboratory in the Central Coast May 14, 2016 (Paso Robles, California) – ETS Laboratories, the world’s leading independent laboratory serving the global wine industry, has opened a new ISO-accredited facility in Paso Robles, California. The new ETS location will fill the need for technical assistance and laboratory support for the California Central Coast’s rapidly growing wine industry, from grape growers to winemakers. The new laboratory, which has recei