I chose a program focused on lab testing including for SO2 (Sulfite), pH, Total Acidity and Malolactic Fermentation. These measurements will all be a key part of the new batch of wines I will start this month.
In addition I sat in on seminars for Adjusting Wine Must Before Fermentation, Award Winning Tips, Yeast Nutrition and Improving Wine During Aging. After two days my head was spinning from all of the information I was soaking in, but with some good notes taken down I will be prepared to leverage what I have learned immediately,
One of the most interesting seminars was on entitled Same Grape, Different Yeast hosted by Sigrid Gertsen-Briand from Lallemand, a maker of wine yeasts, enzymes and yeast nutrients. During the seminar we were introduced to four white wines and two red wines, each from the same starting batch of wine infused with different strains of yeast. The goal of the seminar was to see firsthand through an evaluation of these wines how the yeast selection affected the end result. We were encouraged to evaluate the wines for color, clarity, aroma and taste as well as blend them to better understand how the individual components might be better together. The white wines where from the Chardonnay grape and at the table I was sitting the highlight was the blend of sample #2 with sample #4. The result was a well balanced smooth Chardonnay with pleasurable aromas, good flavors and a medium finish. How cool!
On Sunday morning we enjoyed the deluxe Champagne Brunch at Skamania and headed off to Portland and ultimately Seattle. The next few blog postings will contain wine reviews for Washington, Oregon, winery visits to Chateau Ste Michelle & Columbia Winery and dining and drinking reviews for Seattle. Don’t touch that dial!