Ask Sid: Why put stems of pinot noir into the fermentation?

June 13th, 2018
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Ask Sid: Why put stems of pinot noir into the fermentation?

Question: Why do some wineries make pinot noir wine by including the stems of the grapes in the fermentation process?

Answer: Yes this is one of the continuing mysteries of the art of winemaking. Some winemakers like to include some stems and use some whole bunches while others don’t. Possible advantages include not only a lowering of the temperature of the fermentation but more bright freshness, finesse, and floral nuances in the wine with a better rounder texture plus elegance. Contrary views often point to old style rustic green herbal notes not wanted resulting from an over complication of the pure grape juice. As vines get older and global warming contributes to riper stems this topic is heating up once again. However in the Okanagan BC opinions are still divided among winemakers. Henricsson Vineyards in Naramata is including 55% stems in their pinot noir but Matt Mavety at Blue Mountain in Okanagan Falls is not including any stems in his. Consider this and decide for yourself what style you prefer.


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June 13th, 2018

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