Sunday, October 14, 2007

Good article on winemaking

Harvest has been pretty busy, but I'm almost through it now...

With only one block of late ripening Cab Sauv left to go, all I need is some dry weather to firm up the vineyard.......well, that and not too much moisture in the next few days (forecast is for some more rain & showers - and this on top of the ~2.5" we've had so far this month!) would keep the sugars from dropping anymore than they already have.

Anyway, the wet weather has allowed me to have a day or two off in the middle of harvest (actually, they weren't "off", rather they were indoors & slightly shorter than they would have been otherwise) to catch up on my reading & blogging. Looking through the latest articles I found a nice one by Tim Patterson in Wines & Vines titled "The Natural Trap"....

I'll leave it to Tim's much more eloquent writing style to convey his message, but it's essentially what I've been saying for years - and I can't leave it without pasting this passage as a teaser:

"...The fact is that wine requires massive human intervention to turn out a "natural" product. If "the wines make themselves," why do so many winemakers have master's degrees in biochemistry? If winemakers are simply vinous voyeurs, why do they get paid at all? Why do wine trade shows look more like auto parts supplier conventions than back-to-nature encampments?

Sure, nature can make "wine" right in the vineyard: Grapes ripen, split open, ooze juice, find ambient yeast and presto!: wine. But any wine you'd want to drink has to be made in a winery, and wineries have a habit of being a lot like sausage factories--and I say this as someone who loves his sausage as well as his wine.

The fuss over "natural" winemaking isn't confined to the angels-on-a-pin distinctions industry insiders make when debating whether this or that technique is manipulation or simply legitimate processing. Consumers are increasingly involved in the discussion, too, and they're coming at it from a whole different angle. By over-hyping the purity of their methods, and keeping mum on what actually goes on in the cellar, wineries set themselves a trap: Sooner or later, consumers or business reporters or gossip columnists find out, unleashing a wave of misguided muckraking and self-inflicted scandal...."

Isn't that great! Have a good read......


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