This study examines whether adding Viognier skins to Petit Verdot fermentations alters the chemical and sensory qualities of the wine. The goal of adding Viognier skins was to mellow out some of the harsher characteristics of Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot grapes were crushed and split into two separate T Bins. To one bin, 10% w/w of Viognier skins were added (the skins were received a couple of days before processing Petit Verdot and were refrigerated prior to addition). An attempt was made to sort stems out of the Viognier skins. The other bin did not receive Viognier skins. All other treatments between wines were identical. Volatile acidity was slightly higher in the wine with Viognier skins. Color, and several phenolic parameters, were reduced in the Viognier skins treatment. For the triangle test, of 7 people who answered, 2 people chose the correct wine (29%), suggesting that the wines were not significantly different. No preference trends were discernible. For the descriptive analysis, there were no strong trends for the descriptors used in this study. The wines with Viognier skins had a slight tendency towards higher Bitterness, and perhaps higher Astringency. Although the chemistry suggests that the Viognier would reduce the tannic character of the wine, the sensory results suggest otherwise. More studies are needed in order to more fully evaluate the impact of adding white grape skins to red wine fermentations on chemical and sensory qualities.
Two lots of Cabernet Franc harvested from the same block were sorted and processed identically. Prior to fermentation Viognier pomace was added to the trial lot (5-7% by volume). The trial wine had lower phenolic and color attributes, likely due to adsorption of phenolic and color compounds on the Viognier pomace. Tannin was not much lower, but color was greatly lowered. There were only slight differences in chemistry. A sensory difference could be distinguished between the control and the trial, with most people preferring the control.