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IQ 2019 Trial Feature: Tart versus Soft: Effects of Malolactic Fermentation on Napa Tocai Friulano

by Press Release
May 14, 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.

Tart versus Soft: Effects of Malolactic Fermentation on Napa Tocai Friulano

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Booth E

Winery Name: New Clairvaux Vineyard using the Aimee Brand

Trial Objective: This trial monitors two lots of Tocai Friuliano from Napa Valley—one that underwent MLF and one that did not.

Trial Description: We took Napa Valley Tocai Friuliano and whole-cluster pressed into one tank. We cold settled it and inoculated it. Then we racked it off its gross lees and let it ferment separately in two tanks. At mid-ferment, one of the tanks was inoculated with malolactic bacteria. The other was left to finish its primary alcohol fermentation and, once dry, was sulfured to make sure it did not accidentally start MLF. The MLF wine was then let to finish its primary and MLF until dry and complete. They were both heat and cold stabilized and bottled as two separate lots. The front labels are the same, but the back label indicates which was tart (no MLF) and which was soft (with MLF). This was also made into a game for consumers to better understand the difference. We used a triangle test as well as a descriptive analysis for each wine. The descriptive analysis focused on the acidity, using the pH and TA as well as measured levels of diacytle (butteriness).

Lot 1: 2017 Napa Valley Tocai Friuliano- Tart

Lot 2: 2017 Napa Valley Tocai Friuliano- Soft

Trial Conclusion: Most people can tell the difference. The wine that underwent MLF had a lot of diacytle, whereas the non-MLF wine had none. The pH and TAs were also noticeably different, with the MLF wine having a higher pH and lower TA and the non-MLF wine one having a lower pH and higher TA. They were both the same for succinic acid, which we were trying to associate with minerality.

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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