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IQ 2017 Trial Feature: Native (Spontaneous) vs. Inoculated Fermentation in Evergreen Vineyard Chardonnay

by Press Release
February 23, 2017

Wine Business Monthly’s editors believe that trials are the embodiment of a winemaker’s pursuit of quality, and have selected more than 30 trials to feature at this year’s Innovation + Quality conference, a forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on cutting-edge innovations that advance wine quality.

Innovation + Quality (IQ) 2017 will be held at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, California on March 2. At the conference winemakers who have conducted new trials will pour their wines so attendees/fellow winemakers can taste the wines and compare the resulting wines from each trial. In the weeks leading up to the show, we'll feature some of the trials being poured.

For more information on Innovation + Quality, including session descriptions, trials being poured and vendors, visit

Native (Spontaneous) vs. Inoculated Fermentation in Evergreen Vineyard Chardonnay
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m., Booth J

Winery Name: L'Ecole No 41

Trial Objective: Evaluate aromatic profile and textural differences between an inoculated 2016 Chardonnay from Evergreen Vineyard (Ancient Lakes of the Columbia Valley) versus a spontaneous or natural fermentation.

Trial Description: Evergreen Vineyard Block 4 Chardonnay was machine-harvested in the early morning hours of Oct. 8, 2016 and whole-cluster pressed. Juice was allowed to cold settle for 24 hours and then racked to barrel (SO2 and enzyme were added). After warming to 50° F, a commercial yeast CY 3079 was added to some barrels, while other barrels were left to ferment spontaneously. All barrels received a modest addition of DAP and nutrients. Weekly stirring was done until ML was complete. All barrels complete ML without inoculation and SO2 was added. Initial fruit was measured at 24.9° Brix, 8.0 g/l TA, 3.42 pH.

Lot 1: Evergreen Vineyard Chardonnay - Spontaneous Fermentation
Lot 2: Evergreen Vineyard Chardonnay - Inoculated Fermentation

Trial Conclusion: There was an initial delay or lag phase in the spontaneous ferment, but it quickly caught up. The spontaneous ferment slowed and took about one week longer to finish primary. Neither the inoculated or spontaneous ferment was inoculated for ML. Both finished shortly after primary completion and the spontaneous ML took slightly longer. While it is early to draw solid conclusions, we feel the spontaneous ferment has a richer body, fuller mouthfeel, and enhance aromatic profile. ETS chemical analysis is shown below.

About IQ

Innovation + Quality (IQ) 2017 is the third annual forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on cutting-edge innovations that advance wine quality. This day-long event will take place March 2, 2017 at Charles Krug Winery in Napa Valley.

Sessions will be held in the Carriage House and in the newly restored Redwood Cellar Tasting Room and Hospitality Center. A tented area between these two historic buildings will feature winemaker trials tastings, product and technology demonstrations, and exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in the ultra-premium winemaking, grape growing, packaging and direct-to-consumer sales.

This event is produced by Wine Business Monthly, the leading print publication for the wine industry, in partnership with Napa Valley Vintners and the Napa County Farm Bureau.

Click here to register for IQ

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