Technique

New World Winemaking Decisions

There are competing images in the story of fine wine. One version goes something like, “get the best grapes you can and get out of the way.” It’s great advice and it often makes excellent wine. On the other hand, not every lot of grapes is wonderful and we now have techniques and products that are offered to improve, enhance, or correct an imperfect wine. Old World winemakers decry the use of “New World” manipulations, but those techniques are quietly applied behind the scenes throughout Europe every day. Some American and Australian winemakers openly acknowledge modern tools and techniques. So what’s a home winemaker to do? Are the products even available to us? Is there home-scale equipment for advanced processes? Let’s take a quick survey through the current (and emerging) state of the art. Some of these tools and techniques have been around for a number of years but may not have been available in every region. Others have been introduced by home winemaking suppliers through distribution of commercial-grade products and equipment. Some are still available only at the commercial