WootBot


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Yes, this blog post is later than usual, but don't blame Peter - the delay is entirely Woot's fault.

For What It's Worth - Tue. July 8, 2008

Dan Berger, one of the more interesting wine writers around, would occasionally list various production costs when talking about wine prices. Some were very accurate, but others out of line with each other, e.g. cheap glass with expensive corks. In light of recent discussions on the w00t forums about price, quality and value, I thought it might be interesting to list our costs and some idea of the range of various costs.

Dan always gave the most detail about bottling costs, so I'll start there. Most of our bottles run around $9.00 a case, with a range from $7.50 to $12.00. Industry ranges are < $5.00 to > $20.00. Our corks are around 30¢ each ($3.50/case), with an industry range of < 10¢ to > $1.00 each (there are also low cost alternative closures). We use tin capsules, at 17¢ each ($2.00/case). Polylaminate, PVC, heat-shrink plastic and other alternatives run 2-10¢ each. Front labels @ 7¢ and backs @ 4¢ adds another $1.40 a case for us. Label cost is probably the biggest variable in packaging costs because there is a tremendous economy of scale; small runs of ornate labels can cost a dollar a label. Mobile bottling is around $2.50 a case. If you have your own bottling line (a large capital investment) costs are considerably lower. Bottling labor for us is around $0.60 per case. We spend $19 a case to bottle our wine. Big wineries can get it done for $7-8, high end “vanity labels” may spend as much as $50 a case or more.

Grapes are the biggest cost in Sonoma and Napa wines, but not in the Central Valley. Cabernet averaged over $4000 a ton in Napa in 2007, but only $330 in Lodi and $260 or less in the rest of the Central Valley. The average grape cost in a case of Cabernet is over $60 using Napa fruit, and less than $2.00 using Kern County fruit. Growing your own grapes can be a lot cheaper than buying grapes. In 2006 our own grapes cost us $1160 a ton, our purchased grapes averaged $2040 a ton. Our grape cost per case averaged around $26.

French oak barrels are $1000+ a pop. That means $20 a case for a winery that uses 50% new French oak, a common practice for high end Napa and Sonoma Cabs ($80 a case for Caymus Special Select @ 200% new oak). American oak is $200-350 a barrel; staves, chips and sawdust range from pennies up to $2 a case or so. We average $4 a case for oak (ranging from $0 to 20, depending on the wine). Other winemaking and lab supplies add up to a dollar or so.

Large wineries realize tremendous economy of scale with winemaking labor, often spending less than they do on bottling labor. Counting labor overhead and a portion of my salary, our winemaking cost is $7 a case. I won't consider consultant's fees here, but some vanity labels pay “superstar” winemakers six figure fees to create cult brands.

Overhead can be quite variable depending on renting vs. owning, taxes, depreciation, loan interest, etc. We spent a buck a case on utilities before we installed our photovoltaic system, now we have to add both the accelerated depreciation on it and the interest on the loan to our “book cost” for IRS purposes.

I won't make you do the math. Our direct cost per case is around $57. Two Buck Chuck probably costs about $9-10 a case to produce, and an elite Napa Cab might cost $140-200. Add a bit of tax, warehousing, marketing (can be a huge expense) and overhead and you get to the winery cost of sales. Assuming sales through the three tier system, markup will be 100% between the winery and the store shelf. Hence Two Buck Chuck and $40-50 Napa Cabs.


Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - Thu. July 10, 2008

Dry lightning started over a thousand fires in northern California on June 22nd. Even though none of the fires were in Sonoma County, we were inundated by smoke for a week. One night the smoke detector in our bedroom went off at 3 AM. When I sulfur dusted on the 27th I didn't even realize the sun had risen until I noticed a pale red, moon-like circle above the mountains. I had Sam wash the solar panels when things cleared up last week – they were coated with ash and dust. I wish I had looked at the electrical output before washing; I'd be curious to know how much generation was compromised. After a week of blue skies the smoke returned Monday and has been getting thicker every day. There are still over 300 fires burning 18 days after they started, with 20 described as major fires. It's also been over 100°F all week, making for burning eyes, throats and lungs. I feel like I'm breathing with my body uider water; I can only imagine what it's like for people with respiratory diseases.

There's been speculation about diminished sunlight slowing ripening or other fire effects on grapes, but I don't think it really makes a difference right now. Light is rarely the limiting factor in photosynthetic rate. Heat determines rate of photosynthesis, with a maximum rate around 90-92°F, dropping to virtually no activity below 50° or above 105°. We have had a cooler than average year so far, and harvest may start a little later than average. I also saw mention of a company that can remove “smoke taint” - aromas from wildfires adsorbed by the grapes. I'm guessing that may not be much of an issue with these early season fires, but certainly could be if there are similar conditions closer to harvest.



The Circle Goes Round And Round  - Wed. July 16, 2008

We're getting closer to harvest and closer to the end of my year of (mostly) voluntary servitude - blogging. I think my last blog may come during September, so if you have any burning questions, ask now or forever hold your peace. Besides, I'm worried about running out of cheesy cultural references for titles and headings – I'm down to Buffalo Springfield, The Platters and Joni Mitchell this week. We've finalized all our blends for this year, with the last bottling scheduled for Aug. 19th & 20th. The Sonoma Valley Zin is 14.3% alcohol, with 7% Durif (PS to you, Loweel). The Duke is 44% Zin, 28% Merlot, 16% Cabernet sauvignon and 12% Petite Verdot. We've started to re-taste the 2007 Cabernets and other Bordeaux varieties. Now that they have 9 months or so of barrel age we can confidently select candidates for Victory trials, and start blending other lots for the bases of our varietal and single vineyard bottlings. We'll do a few more tastings before harvest, then take a hiatus until December.

I've only got a couple of sulfur dust applications left (no need after veraison), and there's no more mowing – the permanent cover crops went completely dormant very early this year. After that, there's just irrigation and watching. We're starting crush plans – ordering yeast and other supplies, looking for crush help, making barrel plans, visiting vineyards. It's also time for Sam, Lynda and myself to take pre-crush vacations and make sure our batteries are fully charged going into harvest. I've got a one week sales trip planned just before (I hope) crush begins.


javadrinker


quality posts: 4 Private Messages javadrinker

Looking forward to finally trying the Duke. Thanks again for all of the hospitality of the last few days.

And...heh heh...you said "taint".

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Loweeel


quality posts: 5 Private Messages Loweeel

I remember one of your prior blog posts expressing shock at how much the cost of tin has gone up. Since then, I've been saving most of my tin capsules (so I have 2 just-smaller-than-baseball-sized globes right now). Is there any recycling program or way to recycle them? It seems that, given the costs of the new ones, it might be cheaper to recycle at the current price-point, if the color additives will boil off at a certain temperature.

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SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
Loweeel wrote:I remember one of your prior blog posts expressing shock at how much the cost of tin has gone up. Since then, I've been saving most of my tin capsules (so I have 2 just-smaller-than-baseball-sized globes right now). Is there any recycling program or way to recycle them? It seems that, given the costs of the new ones, it might be cheaper to recycle at the current price-point, if the color additives will boil off at a certain temperature.



You could try scrap metal dealers. We've had a couple of "drive-ups" offer us next to nothing; I guess they're basically looking for next to free tin. We're just putting it in boxes, waiting until we have enough to make it worth our time to recycle.

themostrighteous


quality posts: 12 Private Messages themostrighteous

reading your first rambling almost brought a tear to my eye: i'm a quant jock, and i get all warm & fuzzy about numbers!

just one quick question wrt "$80 a case for Caymus Special Select @ 200% new oak." is the 200% a typo? or are you implying that the juice is moved to a second new oak barrel half-way through barrel aging? hope this isn't too silly a question.

do you know... what biodynamics is?

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
themostrighteous wrote:reading your first rambling almost brought a tear to my eye: i'm a quant jock, and i get all warm & fuzzy about numbers!

just one quick question wrt "$80 a case for Caymus Special Select @ 200% new oak." is the 200% a typo? or are you implying that the juice is moved to a second new oak barrel half-way through barrel aging? hope this isn't too silly a question.




Not silly at all, amigo. They age that wine in 100% new oak barrels for almost two years, then transfer it to another set of brand new barrels for "finishing" (no personal editorial comment here;).

themostrighteous


quality posts: 12 Private Messages themostrighteous
SonomaBouliste wrote:Not silly at all, amigo. They age that wine in 100% new oak barrels for almost two years, then transfer it to another set of brand new barrels for "finishing" (no personal editorial comment here;).


and does it taste like anything OTHER than oak upon release?

do you know... what biodynamics is?

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
javadrinker wrote:Looking forward to finally trying the Duke. Thanks again for all of the hospitality of the last few days.

And...heh heh...you said "taint".



Twarnt nothing; I enjoyed spending time with ALL the RPM tourists. Everyone was interesting, interested, and extremely well-mannered. I wish I had had time to travel with the bus on Monday and /or Wednesday.

heh heh...I said "twarnt" and had had.

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
themostrighteous wrote:and does it taste like anything OTHER than oak upon release?



Like I said re "finishing", "No personal editorial comment here"

edit: The wine writers all adore it #1 in the Wine Spectator annual top 100 more than once.

polarbear22


quality posts: 35 Private Messages polarbear22

Great blog, and being another quant, I found the numbers very interesting.

I hope that you continue the blog, even if more sporadically, after your agreement is up. I will be going through and putting all your blogs into a PDF for future reference. I can read them again and learn more than I could the first time.

Oh, and you should meet Scott Harvey sometime. I spoke with him at dinner on Wednesday, and his love of wine and willingness to share his knowledge reminded me a lot of you.

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themostrighteous


quality posts: 12 Private Messages themostrighteous
SonomaBouliste wrote:Like I said re "finishing", "No personal editorial comment here"

edit: The wine writers all adore it #1 in the Wine Spectator annual top 100 more than once.


well, i'm certainly glad SOMEBODY likes it, what will all that moolah sunk into those expensive French barrels!

do you know... what biodynamics is?

themostrighteous


quality posts: 12 Private Messages themostrighteous

i started a thread elsewhere on the possibility of planning a second tour to the left coast. i had a related question for you (though unrelated to your blog): if you had to pick a time when winemakers are least busy AND available in their wineries / tasting rooms (ie not on vacation) what would that be? mid-Summer (much like this year's tour)? or some other time?

in case YOU are curious, the leading candidate for now seems to be somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, but it's way too early to know if that will be it.

do you know... what biodynamics is?

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
polarbear22 wrote:Great blog, and being another quant, I found the numbers very interesting.

I hope that you continue the blog, even if more sporadically, after your agreement is up. I will be going through and putting all your blogs into a PDF for future reference. I can read them again and learn more than I could the first time.

Oh, and you should meet Scott Harvey sometime. I spoke with him at dinner on Wednesday, and his love of wine and willingness to share his knowledge reminded me a lot of you.



I've only met Scott briefly; he's definitely one of the many good guys in the business.

I've been thinking about consolidating my blogs along with some of the relevant posts and responses, but am so technophobic that the thought of copying and pasting intimidates me. I'd buy a nicely put together collection for myself (hint hint).

Don't worry, I won't disappear completely. WD and I have chatted a little bit about the idea of guest bloggers or rotating bloggers. If something like that comes to fruition, (i.e. if WD can find a few more suckers) I certainly will take a spot in the rotation

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
themostrighteous wrote:i started a thread elsewhere on the possibility of planning a second tour to the left coast. i had a related question for you (though unrelated to your blog): if you had to pick a time when winemakers are least busy AND available in their wineries / tasting rooms (ie not on vacation) what would that be? mid-Summer (much like this year's tour)? or some other time?

in case YOU are curious, the leading candidate for now seems to be somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, but it's way too early to know if that will be it.



The timing of this year's tour was pretty good. August is iffier as far as vacations, etc. Things get more hectic and sporadic during crush, but it is the best time to visit as far as both seeing things and weather. I think there are quite a few winemakers who could find the time to spend an hour or two with the group. If you did a tour during crush you might get a missing winemaker or two, but the overall experience would still be great.

themostrighteous


quality posts: 12 Private Messages themostrighteous
SonomaBouliste wrote:The timing of this year's tour was pretty good. August is iffier as far as vacations, etc. Things get more hectic and sporadic during crush, but it is the best time to visit as far as both seeing things and weather. I think there are quite a few winemakers who could find the time to spend an hour or two with the group. If you did a tour during crush you might get a missing winemaker or two, but the overall experience would still be great.


thank you very much (as always) for your feedback.

do you know... what biodynamics is?

Corrado


quality posts: 130 Private Messages Corrado

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Another great blog, Peter.

Looks like a lot of my questions have already been asked & answered.

With regard to bottling & closures, how does the cost of moving the bottling line from cork-type closures to screw-top cost out? Obviously there are considerations for both the raw materials as well as the infrastructure to be able to bottle screwtops.

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SonomaBouliste


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Corrado wrote:Another great blog, Peter.

Looks like a lot of my questions have already been asked & answered.

With regard to bottling & closures, how does the cost of moving the bottling line from cork-type closures to screw-top cost out? Obviously there are considerations for both the raw materials as well as the infrastructure to be able to bottle screwtops.



The mobile lines are set up for as rapid as possible changeovers between different packages, including bottle size and shape, label position and, for those who have the options, to screwcaps or different capsule types. They typically charge $150 per major change with one free change per day. If you're just changing wines but using the same bottle there's no charge.

Interesting that you bring up screwcaps, particularly costs. Our primary grower of Sauvignon blanc was by a couple of weeks ago to pick up a case and mentioned how wis wife was telling people we were now using screwcaps on the SB as a cost saving measure. I had to explain to him that while it is true screwcaps cost a bit less than a high grade cork and tin capsule, the move was strictly for quality considerations - to keep the Rose and SB fresher. I've had brokers and distributors, as well as consumers, ask me if we plan to do more wines with screwcaps, particularly the other whites. My response is that I have two reservations at this point. The first is the extremely limited choice of bottles with a screw cap finish - the bottles currently available are very basic, lacking elegance. The second consideration is consumer acceptance (e.g. the comments by my grower's wife). Screwcaps are already being used on the majority of Australian wines, even $100 single vineyard Shiraz. All fine wine producing areas are looking into them and doing trials. Chateau Margaux has been bottling small amounts of their Grand Vin in screwtops for several years, and will monitor how the wine ages and develops long term. They aren't likely to make any rash decisions, but there is obviously a possibility they will change at some point in the future. I think screwcaps will continue to gain consumer acceptance in this country, and once people get over the "screwcaps = cheap wine" mentality we'll see a rapid growth in their use.

Loweeel


quality posts: 5 Private Messages Loweeel
SonomaBouliste wrote:The mobile lines are set up for as rapid as possible changeovers between different packages, including bottle size and shape, label position and, for those who have the options, to screwcaps or different capsule types. They typically charge $150 per major change with one free change per day. If you're just changing wines but using the same bottle there's no charge.

Interesting that you bring up screwcaps, particularly costs. Our primary grower of Sauvignon blanc was by a couple of weeks ago to pick up a case and mentioned how wis wife was telling people we were now using screwcaps on the SB as a cost saving measure. I had to explain to him that while it is true screwcaps cost a bit less than a high grade cork and tin capsule, the move was strictly for quality considerations - to keep the Rose and SB fresher. I've had brokers and distributors, as well as consumers, ask me if we plan to do more wines with screwcaps, particularly the other whites. My response is that I have two reservations at this point. The first is the extremely limited choice of bottles with a screw cap finish - the bottles currently available are very basic, lacking elegance. The second consideration is consumer acceptance (e.g. the comments by my grower's wife). Screwcaps are already being used on the majority of Australian wines, even $100 single vineyard Shiraz. All fine wine producing areas are looking into them and doing trials. Chateau Margaux has been bottling small amounts of their Grand Vin in screwtops for several years, and will monitor how the wine ages and develops long term. They aren't likely to make any rash decisions, but there is obviously a possibility they will change at some point in the future. I think screwcaps will continue to gain consumer acceptance in this country, and once people get over the "screwcaps = cheap wine" mentality we'll see a rapid growth in their use.



Peter -- just a heads up. I sent an email to wv@wellingtonvineyards.com (and WD) about my family reunion wine-tasting plans for the week of 8/4.

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themostrighteous


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Loweeel wrote:Peter -- just a heads up. I sent an email to wv@wellingtonvineyards.com (and WD) about my family reunion wine-tasting plans for the week of 8/4.


not that you needed me to tell you this, but you are going to be in most excellent hands - and your family is likely to think you a little less crazy for being so wine-obsessed!

do you know... what biodynamics is?

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
Loweeel wrote:Peter -- just a heads up. I sent an email to wv@wellingtonvineyards.com (and WD) about my family reunion wine-tasting plans for the week of 8/4.



I got your e-mail and responded.

I will be incommunicado (even out of cell phone range) for a week starting Monday, so I wanted to let everyone know that I'm not ignoring your posts. Keep the questions and ideas coming; I'll either respond the week of the 4th or incorporate in a future blog.

Loweeel


quality posts: 5 Private Messages Loweeel
themostrighteous wrote:not that you needed me to tell you this, but you are going to be in most excellent hands - and your family is likely to think you a little less crazy for being so wine-obsessed!


The extended family doesn't really know about the obsession, and my parents don't really mind. They benefit in terms of having me appreciate their wines and the deals I spot for them.

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themostrighteous


quality posts: 12 Private Messages themostrighteous
Loweeel wrote:The extended family doesn't really know about the obsession, and my parents don't really mind. They benefit in terms of having me appreciate their wines and the deals I spot for them.


good luck trying to hide your obsession in Peter's tasting room of all places.

do you know... what biodynamics is?

damightyanteater


quality posts: 12 Private Messages damightyanteater

Another great post Peter. I am sad to learn that we'll see the last of these in September. They have been extremely informative.

In regards to "smoke taint" is this ever a character you would want in your wine? Maybe not have all your grapes cleared of the taint and have a bottling like that? Do you know of any other wines that may have this smoke taint that you recommend we try? It seems like it might make for something interesting unless it really over powers the grape.

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polarbear22


quality posts: 35 Private Messages polarbear22
damightyanteater wrote:Another great post Peter. I am sad to learn that we'll see the last of these in September. They have been extremely informative.

In regards to "smoke taint" is this ever a character you would want in your wine? Maybe not have all your grapes cleared of the taint and have a bottling like that? Do you know of any other wines that may have this smoke taint that you recommend we try? It seems like it might make for something interesting unless it really over powers the grape.


Sounds like someone that like Scotch. Nothing like Scotch for smoke in a glass.

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SonomaBouliste


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damightyanteater wrote:Another great post Peter. I am sad to learn that we'll see the last of these in September. They have been extremely informative.

In regards to "smoke taint" is this ever a character you would want in your wine? Maybe not have all your grapes cleared of the taint and have a bottling like that? Do you know of any other wines that may have this smoke taint that you recommend we try? It seems like it might make for something interesting unless it really over powers the grape.




I won't disappear into thin air (at least after this week).

Smoke taint: acrid, nasty, "old ashtray" at best. You can get "good" smoky aromas out of charred barrels, but not from wildfires.

canonizer


quality posts: 22 Private Messages canonizer

Peter, forgive me if you've addressed this in another blog entry, but have you ever relied solely on wild yeasts? Is that resurgent with any winemakers?

edit: it only occurred to me as you mentioned ordering yeast at the end of your post. are the yeasts for wines ales or lagers (top or bottom fermenting?)? Is there a favored strain? Does UC Davis put out new strains the way Rutgers is bringing back a tomato? I'd probably know the answer if I read the temperature during fermentation.

signed.

Loweeel


quality posts: 5 Private Messages Loweeel
canonizer wrote:Peter, forgive me if you've addressed this in another blog entry, but have you ever relied solely on wild yeasts? Is that resurgent with any winemakers?



Sean Thackrey is a fan of wild yeasts.

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woopdedoo


quality posts: 35 Private Messages woopdedoo

Hey Peter -

First of all, thank you for being the winemaker hero extraordinaire for the RPM tour. Just incredible. Thanks.

One thing that occurred to me on tour, and this column reinforces is you get 5 years use out of a $1,100 barrel and then essentially it becomes worthless. Why do winemakers use barrels at all? Why not continue the aging in a stainless tank and just add pieces of oak to the wine, if you are trying to get the oak aromas/taste? It would also seem to save on the evaporative losses. Of course stainless is not cheap either - it just tends to last forever.

rpm


quality posts: 167 Private Messages rpm
woopdedoo wrote:Hey Peter -

First of all, thank you for being the winemaker hero extraordinaire for the RPM tour. Just incredible. Thanks.

One thing that occurred to me on tour, and this column reinforces is you get 5 years use out of a $1,100 barrel and then essentially it becomes worthless. Why do winemakers use barrels at all? Why not continue the aging in a stainless tank and just add pieces of oak to the wine, if you are trying to get the oak aromas/taste? It would also seem to save on the evaporative losses. Of course stainless is not cheap either - it just tends to last forever.



Actually, woop, there are people who do something like that, using barrel staves or even oak chips. It's faster, but (subject to what SB says) generally regarded as a bit dishonest and not conducive to proper aging of really fine wine. Any oak you taste in jug wines is likely to come from the use of chips. BTW, this technology has been around a very long time: I saw an ad for oak chips in a 1934 Wines and Vines....

I'm guessing that as the price of barrels goes up, the prevalence of (shall we say) alternative sources of oak will become more common and more accepted a bit futher up the wine food chain.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

canonizer


quality posts: 22 Private Messages canonizer
rpm wrote:Actually, woop, there are people who do something like that, using barrel staves or even oak chips. It's faster, but (subject to what SB says) generally regarded as a bit dishonest and not conducive to proper aging of really fine wine. Any oak you taste in jug wines is likely to come from the use of chips. BTW, this technology has been around a very long time: I saw an ad for oak chips in a 1934 Wines and Vines....

I'm guessing that as the price of barrels goes up, the prevalence of (shall we say) alternative sources of oak will become more common and more accepted a bit futher up the wine food chain.


My friend's father makes his own version of d.ago wine (westchester NY/Prospero sells grapes/juice in the fall). He used the same barrels year after year and decided it was time to buy new ones. At a cost of several hundred dollars, he bought new supplies. For the next two years he hated his product. It just turned out he didn't like a strong oaked wine. So it stands to reason that there's a very viable secondary market for 'neutral oak', if only to satisfy some old Italian men who've been making wine in their basements for a bunch of generations.

edit: Also, at some point we will see a resurgent dollar and the price of many international commodities will fall. I do not mean to start an economics discussion, but...

signed.

Loweeel


quality posts: 5 Private Messages Loweeel
woopdedoo wrote:Hey Peter -

First of all, thank you for being the winemaker hero extraordinaire for the RPM tour. Just incredible. Thanks.

One thing that occurred to me on tour, and this column reinforces is you get 5 years use out of a $1,100 barrel and then essentially it becomes worthless. Why do winemakers use barrels at all? Why not continue the aging in a stainless tank and just add pieces of oak to the wine, if you are trying to get the oak aromas/taste? It would also seem to save on the evaporative losses. Of course stainless is not cheap either - it just tends to last forever.



Also, oak allows for some very slow oxygen flow, through the pores in the wood (hence the neutral oak, in some cases, rather than steel), and also provides some ellagitannins even after the oak/vanilla is gone. Stainless is much more airtight.

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"The one difference between me and Petite Sirah is that I don't have a dumb period." - YT

polarbear22


quality posts: 35 Private Messages polarbear22

Bumping this up so folks don't miss it.

Since SB is out, hopefully on vacation, we can't have a lively discussion with him. We can still talk among ourselves, as if permission is needed.

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labROUS


quality posts: 7 Private Messages labROUS
canonizer wrote:Peter, forgive me if you've addressed this in another blog entry, but have you ever relied solely on wild yeasts? Is that resurgent with any winemakers?

edit: it only occurred to me as you mentioned ordering yeast at the end of your post. are the yeasts for wines ales or lagers (top or bottom fermenting?)? Is there a favored strain? Does UC Davis put out new strains the way Rutgers is bringing back a tomato? I'd probably know the answer if I read the temperature during fermentation.



We "intentionally inoculate" most of our fermentations, but not all. We currently use about a dozen different strains - certain starins work better for us with different varieties and vineyards. Most commercial yeast strains are isolated from European wineries / vineyards, but UCD has released a couple.

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
woopdedoo wrote:Hey Peter -

First of all, thank you for being the winemaker hero extraordinaire for the RPM tour. Just incredible. Thanks.

One thing that occurred to me on tour, and this column reinforces is you get 5 years use out of a $1,100 barrel and then essentially it becomes worthless. Why do winemakers use barrels at all? Why not continue the aging in a stainless tank and just add pieces of oak to the wine, if you are trying to get the oak aromas/taste? It would also seem to save on the evaporative losses. Of course stainless is not cheap either - it just tends to last forever.



Thanks Woop,

I really did enjoy meeting and spending time with all the "tourists". I did go into oak alternatives at some length in a previous blog (A Paradigm Shift, 4/17/08). You can simulate, but not replicate, barrel aging.

woopdedoo


quality posts: 35 Private Messages woopdedoo
SonomaBouliste wrote:Thanks Woop,

I really did enjoy meeting and spending time with all the "tourists". I did go into oak alternatives at some length in a previous blog (A Paradigm Shift, 4/17/08). You can simulate, but not replicate, barrel aging.



Thanks for the reference to your previous posting. I had missed several and it prompted me to go back and read them all. Really a wonderful collection!

Thanks!

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
woopdedoo wrote:Thanks for the reference to your previous posting. I had missed several and it prompted me to go back and read them all. Really a wonderful collection!

Thanks!



One of your fellow travelers has generously offered to compile the blogs along with on topic q&a's. I'm thrilled, because the writing process has provided me some good introspection, and it'll be nice to be able to look back on these in the future..

MaskedMarvel


quality posts: 11 Private Messages MaskedMarvel

SB - Did I miss a public announcement (I'm thinking I saw it in the RPM thread) - you're not going to be writing many more blogs for the W.W readers (contract expiring) ?

This would be a heavy loss to this community - imho.

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
MaskedMarvel wrote:SB - Did I miss a public announcement (I'm thinking I saw it in the RPM thread) - you're not going to be writing many more blogs for the W.W readers (contract expiring) ?

This would be a heavy loss to this community - imho.



I stated something to that effect in the last paragraph of this blog (The Circle...). You need to slow down with the speed-reading

I did catch even WineDavid a bit by surprise, but not to worry, I won't disappear. I just won't be doing a regular schedule. I've encouraged WD to approach other winemakers about writing blogs - I think it would broaden the interest because other winemakers will get into other subject matter.

BTW: no contract, I just do this for "fun".

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 232 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
Loweeel wrote:I remember one of your prior blog posts expressing shock at how much the cost of tin has gone up. Since then, I've been saving most of my tin capsules (so I have 2 just-smaller-than-baseball-sized globes right now). Is there any recycling program or way to recycle them? It seems that, given the costs of the new ones, it might be cheaper to recycle at the current price-point, if the color additives will boil off at a certain temperature.




The inks are water based, so I don't think they pose any problem in the recycling process.

wingmn1369


quality posts: 2 Private Messages wingmn1369

If you email me I might be able to get my wife to have one of the winemakers over at Sebastiani contribute. Although, I prefer the Wellington brew to most of the Sebastiani stuff... Could just have something to do with the tasting room staff on Dunbar!

Cheers.
Wingman