This month I’m checking in via an alternative media: a video! Some of you may recall I tried to do this in 2020, but obvious circumstances quickly changed my direction for the remainder of the year.
So now I’m back! With a short new video talking about some changes coming for 2021, new perks with the DGW Insider and Elite membership programs, and how some of the top blog posts from 2020 pertain to several things I’m working on with DGW members and winemaking clients today.
Feel free to give a listen or read through some of the hot winemaking topics, below!
Protein Stability Testing – Eliminating Hurdles for Wineries
One of the biggest challenges for many wineries is having an accessible protocol for managing protein stability testing. This past year, I added a protocol filled with step-by-step instructions for winemakers to conduct protein stability checks. It’s practical, it’s easy to use, and it includes both a visual or analytical assessment. Also, this 2020 blog post, “Taking a Closer Look at Protein Stability” outlines the content in the webinar, “Successful Protein Stabilization in Wine.”
Here’s what I have learned over 2020: every winery of any size can conduct protein stability checks, bentonite fining trials, and improve protein stability processes in the cellar.
These small changes can have a big impact on wine quality. For example, some of my clients have found they need to switch to bentonite fining juice to avoid large bentonite additions post-fermentation. This change will help retain aromatics and flavors, providing them with fresher wines by the time the wine is bottled. Bonus: minimizing bentonite additions when they are not needed retains wine flavors and reduces the extraction of heavy metals in the wine.
Dealing with Microbiological Problems in Wines
The blog post, “Acetic Acid Bacteria Growth in a New Vintage Wine” was popular in 2020, and it still has relevance in 2021.
This case study details my thought process and methodology for tackling wine problems, especially those that include a microbiological cause.
During a recent DGW Elite session, members and I discussed additional ways to better manage and proactively avoid microbiological issues in the cellar. This includes cellar operations dealing with high pH wines (in which sulfur dioxide may not be very helpful) or in cellars that do not have tank temperature control (in which wines need careful logistical consideration). Whatever your cellar set up, there are ways to tackle problem wines successfully! If this blog post was interesting, the published webinar and supplemental notes, “What to do When Something is Wrong with Wine” details how winemakers can deduce next steps as well as when it’s practical to use analytical assessments to better identify a problem in the wine.
Alternative Wine Packages
This has been a hot, trendy topic through 2020 and I imagine it will continue into 2021. This blog post, “New Wine Packages = New Problems” summarizes some of my observations in working with wineries that are using alternative wine packages to glass bottles. But if you’re also experiencing some packaging challenges, especially with canned wines or hard ciders, check out the webinar and supplemental notes, “Canning Wines and Hard Ciders.”
Furthermore, DGW Insiders, Elite members and winemaking clients now have access to the spreadsheet, “Pre-Canning Wines or Hard Ciders QA/QC.” This is a one-stop data recording spreadsheet, complete with recommendations for specific acceptable parameters (e.g., free sulfur dioxide, copper concentrations, etc.) for wines going into cans. It gives winemakers an immediate visual in terms of whether the wine will likely having longevity problems in the can. Use the Excel template or print out a PDF to meet your cellar needs.