Red Fermentation Decisions: Tips from the Pros

They say winemaking is part science, part art. That expression may ring most true when it comes to fermenting red wines. While there have been numerous studies and much research regarding the benefits of various techniques used during fermentation, winemakers still often go with their gut, rely on their own experiences, and preferences. And the fact is, great wine can be made no matter which decision you make to any of the following questions. But still, it can never hurt to get some additional opinions (beyond the two winemakers’ outlined in the story on page 38 of this issue). So, we rounded up two more winemakers to share their beliefs regarding some of the most intriguing red fermentation decisions, just in time for this year’s vintage at your own winery. Tom Rodrigues, Owner & Winemaker of Maple Creek Winery in the Yorkville Highlands of Anderson Valley, California. Do you do any whole cluster fermentations? Yes, I use about 75% whole cluster in most if not all of my reds. I do this because I am a fruit-forward winemaker and I