Newsletters are written as topics arise, not on a regular schedule. They are distributed through an email list, and are also posted below. If you wish to receive newsletters by email, contact Joy at and ask to be added to the list. Generally, newsletters are posted here within a few days of email distribution.


Post Harvest 2018: Building Body and Structure

Several winemakers have asked about ways to make the most of the wines that came in, protect them during aging and manage elevage to make the best wines possible. Concerns included thin mid-palate, lack of structure, and high VA. This edition of the newsletter includes background information on topics including:

  • Analyses to do now

  • Cellar practices to protect your wines and limit VA accumulation

  • Body, Structure, Weight and Balance

  • The role of mannoproteins in the body of wine and the addition of yeast products 

  • The types of tannin and their addition to wine

There is also a section with specific manufacturer’s recommendations and contact information. 


September 2018: Making Wine with Underripe Fruit

This season has included many challenges in the vineyard that are now translating to the winery. Many of the red grapes being picked are less ripe than desired. 

Overall, a winemaking philosophy of maximizing fruitiness and minimizing astringency may be a good focus when working with underripe grapes. There is no magic bullet to make underripe grapes taste ripe. However, there are a few things to think about when planning your winemaking to respond to this vintage. This newsletter gives some background chemistry and winemaking suggestions for this season’s fruit.


Pre-Harvest 2018

Though this season has been a challenge in the vineyard, the grapes are still ripening and it is time to start picking!  So far people have reported higher than normal pH, lower brix, and watery fruit. Not a surprise given the weather. But today the sun is out and the forecast (at least for a few days) looks pretty good. Lets hope this weather holds.

This newsletter includes sections addressing: Vineyard Sampling, Sample Preparation and testing, Rot Protocols, and High pH

This updated protocol from Scottlabs was added after first publication of the pre-harvest newsletter.