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New Trials Added to IQ 2018 Winemaker Trials Tasting Line-up

by Press Release
May 22, 2018

Napa, CA -- On Wednesday, May 23, the world's leading researchers are converging in Napa to discuss the current state of smoke taint knowledge--including removal methods in a special edition of Innovation + Quality's (IQ) signature Recent Research session. Join Tom Collins of Washington State University, Kerry Wilkinson of the University of Adelaide, Wesley Zandberg of the University of British Columbia, Fabio Mencarelli of the University of Tuscia in Italy, and Anita Oberholster of UC Davis, as they discuss their latest findings, best practices and more. This session is a lead into IQ Connect, a soiree/fundraiser for smoke taint research.

Four of the speakers--Tom Collins, Anita Oberholster, Kerry Wilkinson and Fabio Mencarelli--will present the results of their smoke taint trials, and pour the experimental wine for attendees in addition to leading a panel discussion on their research. 

While tickets to the Recent Research session are sold out, you can still learn about their smoke taint trials. Join them the morning of Thursday, May 24 for a discussion of their winemaking experiments. Tickets for the winemaker trials tastings are just $25 and available here. 

Here's a sneak peek at those trials: 

NEW: Kerry Wilkinson, Ph.D., of the University of Adelaide, has arranged for wines from a reverse osmosis trial to be poured from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at IQ 2018. 

Trial Name: Using Ozone (Purovino) to Remove Smoke Taint
Winery Name: Deerfield Ranch/University of Tuscia

Trial Objective: To eliminate/reduce the impact of grapes tainted by the Oct. 2017 fires and to produce a finished product that exhibits not only no smoke taste but also exhibits the characteristics of the Purovino process to include enhanced extraction and increased antioxidants.

Lot 1: Cabernet Sauvignon - Untreated (Control)
Lot 2: Cabernet Sauvignon - Treated with Purovino process in same oak barrel as control wine
Lot 3: Cabernet Sauvignon - Treated with Purovino process in different oak barrel as control

Trial Conclusion: There was no detectable evidence of smoke taint in the Purovino treated lots in either barrel type vs the control and the level of phenolics and antioxidants was increased.

Trial Name: How Fermentation Temperature and Oak Regimen Affect Smoke-tainted Cabernet
Winery Name: UC Davis Research and Teaching Winery

Trial Description: Wines were produced from 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon smoke impacted grapes at the UC Davis Research and Teaching winery. The impact of both fermentation temperature and oak additives on smoke taint characteristics were investigated as these are among the general recommendations made to wineries regarding potential mitigation of smoke taint development in wines.

Trial 1: Comparing wines fermented at 25° C and 15° C as the Australians recommend cooler fermentation; reds in their trials are fermented at 15° C (2 wines).

Trial 2: Fermenting smoke-impacted grapes with two different types of oak chips compared to a control (3 wines).

Trial Name: Assessing Smoke Taint Risk
Winery Name: Washington State University

Trial Objective: The objective of the trial is to generate smoke affected wines by exposing field-grown grapevines to simulated wildfire smoke

Trial Description: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines at the WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) were exposed to simulated wildfire smoke during the 2017 growing season. For each variety, four rows of 30 vines were covered by temporary hoop-house structures, two rows each for the control and for the smoked treatment, for a total of 60 vines for each treatment. The vines in the smoke treatment were exposed to simulated wildfire smoke generated by burning either a mixture of plants typically found in rangelands in eastern Washington for the Merlot vines or a mixture of conifer bark mulch for the Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Smoke intensity was monitored using TSI Dusttrak aerosol particle monitors (TSI, Inc., Shoreview, MN) while smoking duration was 38 hours for the Cabernet Sauvignon vines and 48 hours for the Merlot vines. Smoke was delivered from the smoke generator to the fruiting zone in the vineyard canopy using 4-inch flexible drain lines.

Wines were made from the control and smoke affected fruit at the Chateau Ste Michelle/WSU Wine Science Center in Richland, WA, using standard WSU red wine protocols. Samples were collected daily throughout the fermentation and stored at -80C for subsequent analysis of smoke taint related volatiles using GC/MS and non-volatiles (glycosides) using UHPLC/QTOF-MS. Additional samples have been collected at weekly intervals since the end of fermentation to assess changes in composition over time.

Lot 1: Merlot, control vines
Lot 2: Merlot, smoked vines
Lot 3: Cabernet Sauvignon, control vines
Lot 4: Cabernet Sauvignon, smoked vines

Trial Conclusion: The Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard blocks used for this trial were exposed to real wildfire smoke during the 2017 growing season, in addition to the smoke applied as treatment during this trial. The intensity and duration of these "wild" wildfire episodes were monitored using the TSI Dusttrak monitors, which recorded time weight averages for the two smoke episodes that were much lower than the treatments applied during the trial. In spite of this exposure there are differences in the sensory perception of the control and smoked treatments for both varieties. Analysis of the volatile and non-volatile composition is ongoing.

Plus, the winemakers from A to Z Wineworks and Carneros Vintners will present their smoke taint removal trials! 

Click here to purchase your Walk-around Trials Tasting Pass

About Innovation + Quality

Innovation + Quality (IQ) 2018 is the fourth annual forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on cutting-edge innovations that advance wine quality. This two-day event takes place May 23 & 24, 2018 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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