March 2010 - Posts
As many of us try our best to be the greenest we can be...I am often asked is it possible to build a green wine cellar? There is no exact way to do this...but here are a few ideas that can help. Try building your wine cellar in a spot that will require the minimum amount of cooling or even better, no cooling at all. The "passive" wine cellar should be built below ground with as little natural light as possible. Installing a floor vent which draws cooler air from the underground can really help with temperature conditions. Using natural stone (slate) is a great way to help maintain consistent temperature as well. Other ways you can push the "green" button would be to use re-claimed wood for the wine racks and recycled glass. Further, you may wish to check the wineries you are buying from: are they using wind power, organically grown grapes, certified biodynamic wines (no sulfites) or perhaps they ship wines by train. We are all looking for ways to sustain the planet and to be the best stewards possible...but if you are looking for a perfect 56 degrees for wine storage it would be difficult to achieve in a passive cellar. However, if you are willing to give up a few degrees and some fluctuations in temperature...then a passive cellar just may be the way to go.
In this day and age wine analysis is indispensable for the production of both large and small scale wineries. A good palate with the addition of wine analysis is an awesome duo. In good old days the only skill required to make good wine was a good palate but do not forget that during those days wineries expected to have a certain amount of ruined wine every year or so writes - Rajiv Seth.
Laboratory automation has come a long way from being in the exclusive domain of specialized analysis laboratories of large multi million case wineries to small boutique wineries, largely because the cost of such automated high-tech laboratory equipment have become more affordable if not reasonable in the recent times.
Auto analyzers or these high tech lab equipments are best at performing repetitive functions under a standardize program if functioning properly they can perform the 500th analysis as precisely as the first.
Some of the favorite pieces of analytical equipments in the winery laboratory may seem expensive, however these high-tech analyzers have found general acceptance with in the industry.
Large winery labs are the first adopters of the new technologies and higher end analytical equipments because probably they have a better budget to support such
infrastructural changes in the business. From here these technologies migrate to smaller wineries. Listed below are some of the favorite lab equipments of large and some medium size laboratories.
Instant quality control with OenoFoss™
The simple-to-use analyzer provides wine producers with key information within two minutes, helping them with decisions such as when to pick grapes, how to control fermentation or when to bottle.
Traditional analysis involves various items of analysis equipment and can take around 20 minutes to measure a single quality parameter. In contrast, OenoFoss™ measures main quality parameters of grape must, must under fermentation and wine within two minutes from a single drop of a single sample. Up to seven parameters are measured: sugar, pH, total acid, glucose/fructose, malic acid, ethanol, volatile acid and colour.
Unlimited testing at no extra cost
Unlimited tests on must and wine can be performed at no extra cost, building a wealth of objective information on which to base your decisions. c also saves costs on the use of chemical reagents involved in traditional analysis. The robust design ensures frequent economical use without maintenance and the ready-to-use calibrations guarantee reliable analysis results. With its compact size (189 × 154 × 321 mm) the OenoFoss takes little space. Two minutes spent using OenoFoss can quickly repay itself through consistent quality results in the years to come.
FOSS WineScan™ Auto
The WineScan Auto is the solution for the busy wine laboratory requiring fast, accurate analysis. Ready-made calibrations allow for the simultaneous analysis of major wine quality parameters.
Sample preparation is easy as no preheating or chemical pretreatment is required. Cost per sample is low as no expensive reagents are needed. The automatic fow system and zero setting function ensure reliable and consistent results.
The WineScan Auto analyses main product components such as Ethanol, pH, sugars, and organic acids in wine and must under fermentation. The wine samples in the calibrations represent red, white and rose wines, which gives you a reliable and robust calibration. The WineScan Auto has a FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) interferometer that scans the full infrared spectrum. Collection of data form the entire spectrum allows you to analyze many parameters. Analyzing new parameters is only a matter of calibration development.
FlAstar Wine Wine Analyser for
Free and Total SO2
A multi-channel flow injection analyzer for the automatic, simultaneous determination of Free and Total Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) in red and white wines and in juice. The complete FIAstar system, with a 120-position autosampler, offers un-attended analysis to maximize laboratory productivity.
Using Flow Injection Analysis (FIA) technology, the FIAstar offers an accurate and robust alternative to the manual, labour-intensive distillation and titration methods. Good laboratory practices are integrated into the SoFIA software with many quality assurance and control features.
Alcohol Analyzer for Wine
HI 83540 by Hanna
Until now, the determination of alcohol in wine required wine makers to invest in expensive gas chromatography or HPLC equipment, or to use alternate methods such as ebulliometry or hydrometry which are time consuming and can be extremely laborious.
The alcohol content is a critical parameter in the analysis of wine, representing the first and most important criteria for classifying the wine into taxable classes. From a qualitative point of view, alcohol concentration has an important role in the conservation of a wine over time. From a sensory point of view, alcohol content influences the power, warmth and sweetness of a wine. Lower alcoholic concentrations tend to taste sweeter. Else where in the world the alcohol content is also used to classify wines for taxation: Regional government regulations use alcohol % as a criteria to classify the wine as table wine or alcoholic beverage. The HI 83540 meter measures the alcohol content in wine simply accurately displaying the results directly in % v/v units.
Digital Brix Refractometer
HI 96811 from Hanna
The HI 96811 Digital Wine Refractometer is a rugged potable, water resistant device that benefits from HANNA’s years of experience as a manufacturer of analytical instruments.
The HI 96811 is an optical instrument that employs the measurement of refractive index to display the sugar content in grape samples. The measurement of refractive index is simple and quick. Samples are measured after a simple user calibration with deionized or distilled water. Within seconds the instrument measures the refractive index of the grape sample and converts it to % Brix concentration units. The HI 96811 digital refractometer eliminates the uncertainty associated with mechanical refractometers and is portable for measurements in the field.
Titratable Total Acidity
HI 84102 from Hanna
The HI 84102 is a low cost, easy to use, microprocessor-based automatic titrate. The HI 84102 has as simple and yet accurate peristaltic pump to ensure the best accuracy and repeatability. By performing pump calibration with the provided HANNA standards, instrument accuracy is assured.
This instrument is supplied with a preprogrammed analysis method designed for Total Titratable Acidity measurements in wine. The HI 84102 performs automatic analysis, all necessary calculations and assures to the user a simple and effective interface.
A number of other analytical tools and equipment have hit the market and all have contributed to the pleasure of making and analyzing wine and how these new technologies changes and shape up the future of our wine industry will be discovered only by time.
- Rajiv Seth
Rajiv Seth became the first Indian in the year 1987 to receive a gold medal from wine and spirit education trust, London. Presently he is making continuous efforts in educating the lab assistants of a number of wineries on procedures of vinification through his manuals. He also writes for Delwine.
...Since wine has such beneficial effects on the heart, on stabilizing blood pressure, possibly stopping loss of bone tissue, is replete with cancer-fighting elements, aids in digestion, and reduces stress, it is no surprise that wine is also connected to living longer.
Bordeaux wines may have been regarded as a health tonic for many centuries, and nothing proves it more than the high percentage of healthy octogenarians in the Medoc area of France - that is, Bordeaux. The number of octogenarians and even nonagenarians is much higher there than the national average. It is even a local custom in Bordeaux to present a woman with a bottle of red wine before she goes into labor to help ease the birth and also bless the baby with long life.
Here is my mantra for you: Red wine...red wine...red wine. Make a daily habit of drinking red wine with dinner for the rest of your long and healthy life.
As America's preeminent Wine Consultant and internationally respected wine broker, Judy has forged a niche in the high stakes world of wine.
With over 20 years experience and a career that has taken her from the first woman manager of New York's premiere wine shop, Sherry-Lehman...To starting the most successful wine consulting business in the world and amassing the largest wine collections ever assembled on earth...To the creation of her very own wine at a vineyard in Tuscany.
Judy's specialty is creating investment portfolios and drinking cellars of the worlds finest and rarest wines for a clientele of discreet and discerning collectors.
As President and CEO of Beardsall and Associates, Judy oversees personalized service with extensive knowledge of the fine wine market and provides -- Strategic Buying Services, Portfolio and Cellar Planning and Management, Storage Arranged and Managed, State of the Art Wine Inventory and Tracking System, Market Trend and Investing Reports, International Trading Advisory.