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Fixing Common Mistakes: Tips from the Pros

Winter is a good time to take a critical look at your cellar techniques. With a nod to the new year and its requisite resolutions, we asked two professional winemakers to discuss common winemaking mistakes and how to avoid or correct them. Here’s to error-free wine in 2003! Winemaker: Morten Hallgern is a Danish citizen whose family owned a winery in Provence, France for 15 years. He worked for Cordier Estates in Fort Stockton, Texas from 1995-1996, then for Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina from 1996 until 1999. He has been the head winemaker at Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellar in Hammondsport, New York since 1999. Lack of sulfur is a common winemaking error. If the sulfur level is too low your wine could oxidize. Also, microorganisms such as Lactobacillus thrive in a low-sulfur environment. These bacteria can contaminate your wine. It’s critical that you don’t let the sulfur level in your wine drop too low — and the trick is that the “critical level” is different for various wine styles. The sulfur level is dependent on the pH