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Cold Soaking: Tips from the Pros

Melissa Burr, Winemaker at Stoller Vineyards in Dayton, Oregon. Melissa was raised in the Willamette Valley and, after completing her BS degree, studied winemaking at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon, and fermentation science at Oregon State University. She came to Stoller in 2003 after working as a harvest hand at several local wineries. She has been the production winemaker at Cooper Mountain for three harvests.   The grapes at Stoller Vineyards that we cold soak are Pinot Noir. I like using this technique to build the richness and flavor of the juice so that when fermentation starts the wine has had a head start on extraction. In our particular winery, we benefit by cold soaking the grapes as it also encourages/allows time for the native or indigenous yeast in our winery to get established for fermentation. I really like the complexity and nuances that our indigenous yeast contributes to our wines. In addition to the advantages for the character of the wines, cold soaking also has some practical advantages; mostly that after three days you get a more accurate