An important part of a home vintner’s education comes from speaking with other winemakers. The upcoming Winemaker Magazine Conference in the Finger Lakes wine region attracts amateur winemakers as their primary audience, who are always eager to share their own winemaking tricks and experiences. But it’s also good to see how the pros do things.
Trade shows and conferences like the Eastern Winery Exposition, which I attended last week in Syracuse, New York, also offer helpful insights from commercial winemakers.
If you think you have problems with acid balance, fruit ripeness, or making the best of some lesser-known grape varieties, magnify those issues 100 times for the commercial winery.
In recent years, wineries have moved into new geographical areas inspired by market trends and recent farm winery legislation. For those not familiar with eastern winemaking, increased humidity compared with the west is one challenge. Another, brought about by expansion into cooler northern areas, may mean a departure from vinifera grapes and a reliance on hybrids. Hybrid grapes may require the winemaker to make adjustments to accommodate the new chemistry....