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July 2004
Winemakers on Wine
Parameters for Ripeness
by Lance Cutler
  What are the parameters for ripeness, these days? Ramey: It's different for white and red. There are not phenolic issues with white wine. In white wine it becomes a style choice. I can harvest from a good vineyard at 22º Brix, 23º Brix or 25º Brix, and I can make a nice wine out of each one of those. Our Chardonnay tends to be mid-14 percent. Our target is 24º Brix. This year, for the first time, I didn't taste grapes much. I walked the vineyard; I looked at the vines. With white wine...
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