Comments for Minnesota Enology Blog Thu, 06 Oct 2011 19:33:16 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Making Wine with Marquette (Vintage 2011) by cook0278 Thu, 06 Oct 2011 19:33:16 +0000 Shannon, typically we deal with high TA by using various chemical deacidification methods – Calcium carbonate or Potassium bicarbonate. This year, however, with the high brix and TA, diluting the sugar with distilled water also diluted the concentration of acids. In hot climates, like in California, water addition is almost always coupled with an acid addition. When they see high sugars, it is often in conjunction with low TA. The hybrid grape cultivars are unusual in that they have high sugar coupled with high acidity.

Comment on Making Wine with Marquette (Vintage 2011) by Shannon Hergert Thu, 06 Oct 2011 17:39:45 +0000 Very interesting, I am getting ready to do my first harvest of Marquette here in Spokane, WA!! If you care to share I would like more input on the adjustments you made to deal with the high TA. Thank you for taking the time.

Comment on Terroir and Minnesota by University of Minnesota Enology Mon, 27 Jun 2011 12:18:34 +0000 Jess, "Climat" is a part of "terroir" and the point of the post is to dissuade people from this "naturalistic" approach to the concept of "terroir."

As for the critiques about the US, I'm well aware of them. I spent two years studying at the Institut Jules Guyot and have heard them all. Let's just say that the French have many misconceptions about what really goes on in the US wine industry, just as Americans have misconceptions about what REALLY goes on in France.

Comment on What yeast should I use? by University of Minnesota Enology Mon, 27 Jun 2011 12:06:31 +0000 Using "native" yeast to ferment wine is a complex issue – one that will require another blog posting. I am a fan of "spontaneous" fermentations when the fermentation is monitored by a winemaker who knows what he/she is doing. I hesitate to recommend using native yeast to people who aren't familiar with all that can go wrong in the fermentation, and don't know how to monitor for these problems. That being said, even experienced winemakers can have problems when relying on native yeast to ferment their wine. It is a lot more difficult to predict the outcome. Like one winemaker said to me, it's like car racing… sometimes you take a calculated risk and come out on top, other times you hit the wall and lose. If you decide to ferment with native yeast, you should be prepared to accept the occasional crash and burn…

Comment on Winemaking Classes in MINNESOTA!!! by University of Minnesota Enology Mon, 27 Jun 2011 11:46:43 +0000 Try this link for registration:

Eric, that's a really good idea. It's definitely something I can work into the class.

Comment on Winemaking Classes in MINNESOTA!!! by Anonymous Sun, 26 Jun 2011 23:49:17 +0000 Katie I am unable to find the link to register for the winemaking class on July 23rd. I would love to register my 87 yr old father who has made wine for some time. He would love to return to his alma mater for this class. Thank you, Joanie Peterson

Comment on What yeast should I use? by Jess Sun, 26 Jun 2011 17:16:30 +0000 No note about natural yeasts? I like how you mention that adding yeast is fairly recent, but there is a huge debate (outside of the US) going on as to how much/when to use them.
Do you have any info on pesticiedes/fungicides and how that can repress/repel natural yeasts?

Comment on Terroir and Minnesota by Jess Sun, 26 Jun 2011 15:28:56 +0000 Hey, I just got back from a trip to the Cote d'Or, and found this article in my inbox. I'm reading a lot about terroir from the French, and think you might want to look more specifically about "climat" or the way each parcel differs from another.
A climat is more specific than terroir, and in fact, the idea centers on originality, and what makes a wine special is what differentiates it from another (given that you're using the same varietal).
I thought it was interesting you brought up the Kant/Mill difference, because I've always thought of terroir as a more individualistic way of looking at wine.
Two further references:
Claude Bourgignon and his wife, two microbiologists who are analyzing the microsoil in the Grand Crus, and leading the biodynamic movement in Burgundy winegrowers, which I think will be the norm in 20 years, if not less.
Jacky Rigaux writes and teaches at the Juley Guyot Wine School of the University of Dijon, and he's writing a lot about their studies and the great Domaines of Cote de Nuit, and the reemergence of terroir.
Two big critiques of the US that I picked up while I was over there were
1. We irrigate our soils (this is illegal in France) and it causes a total lack of difference in the vintage. A blind tasting between vintages is almost impossible in the US because of irrigating and
2. The soils for Pinot in Oregon are too "acidic," i.e. not calcerous enough.
These were just a few critical opinions, though, and overall the people were marvelously generous, the opposite of the French stereotype, I have to say. I stuck to the small villages and the people I met (and stayed with, and received wine from!), were as chatty, open and friendly as any American I have ever encountered.
Enjoyed the blog!

Comment on Winemaking Classes in MINNESOTA!!! by Eric Ziegler Thu, 23 Jun 2011 08:37:30 +0000 Katie,
For those taking the Introduction to Winemaking course on Saturday, July 23. Could you please bring a hand out of the basic required equipment needs (fermenter, carboy(glass or plastic-which is better), a good way to crush/destem and press w/o buying $1000 of equipment, yeast, k-meta, etc…). In essence, what is the minimum that one really needs for small batches?

Comment on Terroir and Minnesota by University of Minnesota Enology Tue, 10 May 2011 12:43:54 +0000 Kent, I appreciate your comments. I do know that the "invention" of Champagne is a complex issue with no real answer. I never claim in my article that Dom Pérignon was the inventor of Champagne, however he contributed to the creation of the current wine style. I used the name just because of the recognition. The point was that in Champagne, there was a collective movement to make a unique wine style that was a departure from making still "Burgundian-style" wines. Dom Pérignon was at the beginning of the changes taking place in Champagne to make the style that we have today (he did, in fact, push the idea of Blanc de Noirs in Champagne). The fact that many people adopted his practices and advice has led to the current style of wine that we know today. I can see how my phrasing makes it sound as if I'm continuing the rumor that he invented it. I'll change my wording. Thanks for pointing it out.