I must confess I enjoy winemaking—some will say I'm obsessively addicted to it—not only because it allows me to craft something out of my own hands and then get rewarded by drinking great wine (ok, there is the occasional batch that is not so great) paired with soulful Italian food in company of my friends and family, but also because of the tremendous learning potential. In 2004, I have even decided to launch, perhaps foolishly, a commercial winery in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada.
Although wine has been made for 7,000 years, our knowledge of the science of wine and winemaking only took root in the 19th century. And it's only been in the last 30 years or so that academia and the industry have made great strides in understanding wine science, from wine chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and biotechnology to wine appreciation as well as its impact on human health.
Whatever the cause, whether it was a cultural awakening with the influx of post-Prohibition immigrants, the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris, or CBS's airing of the "French Paradox" on 60 Minutes, there is rekindled global interest in learning from our winemaking forefathers and advancing wine technology. Just look at the Aussies! They are hungry to learn all that is wine, and that hunger feeds ambition—ambition to drive innovation. Indeed, Australia has become a world leader in winemaking innovation.
And it's in that same spirit that I tackle this wonderful hobby of home winemaking. I have an insatiable appetite to learn—and to share with fellow winemakers. I read relentlessly. I experiment and try different things. I watch and learn from others. And I drink a lot of wine. Let me rephrase that. I drink a lot of different wines for the purpose of learning about the winemaking of all regions, about different grapes, about kits, and the story behind each great bottle of wine.
So stay tuned to my blog as I will share my learnings, stories (hey! winemaking would not exist without storytelling), opinions about winemaking, and get you on your way to making award-winning wines.
In my next blog, I will share with you expert tips and secrets—practical "stuff" that you can easily implement in your home winery.