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IQ 2019 Trial Feature: Impact of Different De-stemmers on Organoleptic Profile in Oregon Pinot Noir

by Press Release
May 10, 2019

Understanding that trials are the embodiment of winemakers and grapegrowers pursuits of quality, the editors of Wine Business Monthly have selected 20 trials to feature at this year’s Innovation + Quality (IQ) conference. Click here to register for IQ.

The two-day event will take place May 22-23, 2019 at Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa Valley. At the conference, winemakers who have conducted new trials will pour their wines so attendees can taste the results.

In the weeks leading up to the show, we'll feature some of the trials being poured.

Impact of Different De-stemmers on Organoleptic Profile in Oregon Pinot Noir
2:00 p.m. – 3: p.m., Booth B

Winery Name: Adelsheim Vineyard

Trial Objective: As part of our endeavor to modulate extraction in Pinot Noir, we looked at the impact of using two different destemmers on whole berry content and tannin levels.

Trial Description: The last several summers in the Willamette Valley have been challenging from a Pinot Noir tannin management standpoint. We have been dealing with consistently hotter and drier summers than is typical for us, and we have looked at a number of different strategies to back off on tannin extraction. For this trial, we used a neighboring winery’s destemmer and compared it to our own destemmer in order to understand the impact whole berry content is having on our wines’ tannin profiles.

Grapes from the same vineyard blocks were split between two facilities. One facility used a Delta E2 destemmer and the other an Armbruster Rotovib 10. Following a hand sort, the grapes were 100 percent destemmed through one of the two units then gravity fed into identical tanks. Visually there were substantially more whole berries with the Armbruster (80 to 90 percent) versus the Delta (50 to 60 percent). From that point the wines were handled identically.

The fruit was held in cold soak for 3 days at around 50° F. Each fermenter was inoculated with Syrah yeast. The fermenters were punched down by hand one to two times per day throughout ferment. The temperature controls used the same set points, but actual measured temperatures were different. Mixed fermentation temperatures for the Delta lot were between 74 and 89°F with cap temperatures reaching between 86°F and 95°F. Mixed fermentation temperatures for the Armbruster lot had a somewhat tighter range (i.e. steadier temperatures and less of a heat spike) with measurements ranging between 77 and 83°F and cap temperatures between 84°F and 95°F. The Delta lot fermented for eight days for a total of 11 days on skins. The Armbruster lot fermented for 10 days for a total of 13 days on skins. Both lots were pressed at the same level of dryness (RS = ~2 g/L). After four days of settling the wines were racked to barrel to undergo MLF. Once through MLF they were sulfured in mid-December.

Lot 1: 18PN CL 14/15 A--Delta E2
Lot 2: 18PN CL 14/15 B—Armbruster Rotovib

Trial Conclusion: The difference between whole berry content from each destemmer was visually apparent, with the Armbruster as expected containing a larger proportion of whole berry. We observed the Delta processed lot having a somewhat hotter fermentation; it was faster to kick off and finished two days before the Armbruster lot. By contrast the Armbruster lot seemed to maintain a steady temperature throughout the duration of its fermentation. While it’s quite early to pass judgement on these lots, in early tastings we have preferred the fermenter with greater whole berry content. It seems to have more supple tannins and somewhat greater complexity.

Join us on May 22 for the opening night soiree celebrating the leading innovators in ultra-premium winemaking and raising funds to support smoke taint research.
Held in the newly renovated Mansion Gardens at the Silverado Resort, IQ CONNECT will feature select bars pouring wines made by IQ Advisory Board Members, select Green Medal Award Winners and more!
Tickets to IQ Connect are $95. Admittance is included with an Innovation + Quality 2018 Session Pass. For more information, visit or call 707-940-4749.

About Innovation + Quality
Innovation + Quality (IQ) 2019 is the fifth annual forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on cutting-edge innovations that advance wine quality. This two-day event takes place May 22-23, 2019 at Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa Valley.

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.

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