I am your host Mattia Scarpazza and I found Looking Into Wine to share knowledge about wine. Focus is on areas that sparked my interest throughout my study years and I wished I’d had more time to explore in more detail. Now it’s time!
Each episode explores a specific topic in detail and how it is relevant to the wine trade.
What to expect? Interviews featuring experts and professionals to guide us through regions, grapes and challenges of vine growing, my own research and much more.
Exploring the Hunter Valley Old vines and unique climate with Mount Pleasant
The #huntervalley Zone is around 200km north of #Sydney. It contains one o Australia’s oldest, simply called Hunter which, with plantings exceeding 2,300 ha, covers a slightly smaller area than the Hunter Valley Zone but the region is also often split, unofficially, into Lower Hunter and Upper Hunter. Lower Hunter is closer to the coast and benefits from some sea breezes, which means it is slightly cooler than the Upper Hunter. The landscape is made up of undulating hills at relatively low altitudes. Soils range from sandy loams to clay loams, often over a clay base
Semillon was first planted here in the 1830s. Hunter Valley Semillons are renowned for their ability to improve with age. The better examples develop in bottle for more than 15 years.
In the theme of long maturation, we are exploring today the hunter valley with Mount Pleasant, that have been keeping alive their heritage vineyard from 1880, I connected to the @MountPleasant thanks to the work of the Old Vine Conference and is thanks to them that I managed to connect to Mount Pleasant. Maurice O’Shea’s established Mount Pleasant as the only top-quality wine in Australia and inspired the likes of Penfold’s Max Schubert, Hunter Valley legend Max Lake and countless others who would go on to make Australian wine what we recognize today. With the help of my guest we explore the region unique growing condition, how is like to work with 100 plus vines and how hunter valley climate affect the style of the wines produce. If you are enjoying the show remember to subscribe and to share the show!
Find More information on the winery here:
About the region:
About The Old Vine Conference
Why storing wine perfectly is a logistic and delicate matter with Octavian Wine Services
An underdiscussed and under-appreciated part of the wine journey from the cellar to the end consumer is its storage which often is the cause of wines mature too quickly, losing freshness and downright oxidise.
Storing wines in ideal conditions of 12 to 13 degrees with high levels of humidity constant year-round for a long time is not as easy as it may seem, Octavian Wine Services has done just that for the past 30 years.
Logistically fine wine storing comes with more difficulties than one may think, Recognising the need to drive quality and have the most rigorous stock management processes possible, Octavian took the strategic decision to invest heavily in the development of its stock control function.
Wine labels and packaging were never designed for stock management, so subtle discrepancies over the vintage or the chateaux are inevitable. Accuracy is vital and each case is treated equally,” she explains.
As Vincent explains, for most of the lifecycle of a wine the storage facility is closer to the wines than their owners, trackability services, photos and visits are part of the services that Octavian provides to their customers
Wine's Aromas? what's to know about them and their chemistry with Sensory Science MSc Sietze Wijma
What are the many wine flavours found in the various wine aromas wheels with descriptions such as strawberries, apple and vanilla? So, when you smell wine, the alcohol volatilises and carries these lighter-than-air aroma compounds into your nose. Each wine can contain hundreds of different aroma compounds and each compound can affect the flavour of a wine. From a chemical perspective, flavours are the manifestation of compounds that are released at different stages during the wine life cycle. When we smell these compounds, a stimulus is transmitted to our brain that compares it to a “memory” of known sensations – eventually conjuring a final impression.
Being fascinated by science and empirical research, in this episode, I spoke to Sietze Wijma a MSc Sensory Science graduate and founder of the art of tasting who will walk us through some of the major flavours compounds, their names and chemistry, explaining how they come about and some of the faults in wines and what are the key compound that one should know.
Specific anosmia of flavour compounds Specific anosmia (smell-blindness) is the phenomenon where a person is unable to detect a specific flavour compound, where they otherwise have an intact sense of smell. For example, 30% of the population is unable to detect rotundone (black pepper-like aroma). β-ionone (violet-like aroma) has a 50% specific anosmia rate. Isoamyl acetate (banana-like aroma) has a 1% specific anosmia rate. This has implication for wine tasting.
Here is Sietze website The art of Tasting: https://artoftasting.nl/
And some further information about flavours compounds and other items related to the topic: https://www.jancisrobinson.com/learn/vocabulary/aromas https://www.decanter.com/learn/understanding-wine-aromas-329940/ https://winefolly.com/tips/wine-aroma-wheel-100-flavors/
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The evolving industry of South Africa wines, with author Jim Clarke
For more than 350 years, the cultures of Africa, Europe and the East have mingled in Cape Town, the gateway to the South African Winelands, a city rich in colourful history and culturally vibrant. It was here that Nelson Mandela, in 1990, took his historic walk to freedom.
Today South Africa, a country of enormous diversity, is a peaceful democracy, home to the 'rainbow nation' From the very beginning, nearly 400 years ago, winemaking in South Africa has been on a zigzag course, pulled one way by considerable promise, and pushed in other ways by incompetence, self-interest, and a brutally opaque bureaucracy, to the point where, even now, it still seems to be reinventing itself.
At least, and at last, it seems to be on a more enlightened path, on matters of politics—always a strong factor there—and wine, though not without a variety of hazards, many serious.
As my guest today Jim Clarke, author of the book The wines of South Africa notes, “there is an entire story of winemaking and wine growing to be told.” His aim is to provide context and wide-reaching information for appreciating South African wines, and he achieves that with ease and clarity In this conversation, we covered the post-1994 movement, why Chenin Blanc is so popular in South Africa, what is the cape doctor and why is it vital to South Africa wine.
The Cape Doctor is a south-easterly wind during spring and summer and extends the impact of the Benguela current. It also has the advantage of inhibiting disease and bringing some occasional rain to the South Coast. It can, however damage leaves, thus affecting photosynthesis and ripeness, and severely affect the flowering process and berry set, reducing yields.
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Here are some links to learn more about the book and South Africa Wines:
The history and globalisation of Amber Wines With author Simon Woolf
Skin contact, maceration pelliculaire in french, winemaking operation with the aim of extracting flavour compounds, flavor precursors, and anthocyanins from grape skins into grape juice or wine partly inspired by the likes of gravner in friuli, and traditional winemaking techniques in georgi , winemakers have been experimenting with fermentation and ageing in modern copies of amphorae, made from clay or, occasionally, concrete the term ‘orange wine’ was credited to david harvey of uk wine importer raeburn fine wines back in 2004.
He wrote: “the quest for a name arose from my concern that there was no name, let alone category for these wines, which are visually, aromatically and structurally divergent from white wines, and would therefore risk rejection in both the on- and off-trade.” During this final stage, the skin and stems slowly float to the bottom of the qvevri in a natural process of filtration.
Bitarishvilli then pumps the clear orange wine into smaller qvevries for storage and aging. The winemaker says: “longer maceration means many different ingredients go from the skin into the wine - phenols, and tannins. These work like natural conservants so we have a stable wine. We don’t need to use sulfur - or just a little bit.”
In 1995, radikon switched his entire production of ribolla gialla to seven-day skin contact - and lost many customers as a result. It took years to painstakingly rebuild the business but his family’s orange wines are now considered to be among the very best in the world.
With today’s guest simon woolf author of the book amber wines we explore the history of the style and how it traveled the world, what considerations need to be taken when producing amber wines, and the recent classifications of amber wines. If you are enjoying the podcast remember to subscribe and leave a comment we love to hear your ideas for future episodes!
Here are the links to some of further reading about the topics and Simon Woolf Book – Please consider buy a copy as it is a fantasist book!
Https://amber-revolution.com/#:~:text=Amber%20Revolution%20is%20the%20rags%20to%20riches%20story,half%20a%20century%20later%20amidst%20controversy%20and%20misunderstanding. Https://felixir.com.au/what-is-amber-wine/ Https://www.awri.com.au/industry_support/winemaking_resources/winemaking-practices/winemaking-treatment-amber-wine/ Https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/you-say-orange-wines-the-georgians-say-amber-heres-what-they-all-have-in-common/2018/10/05/9a707aae-c805-11e8-b1ed-1d2d65b86d0c_story.html
Cote du Rhone sustainability researches and plans with Julie Coutton & Institut Rhodanien
In the second episode dedicated to Cotes du Rhone’s, we explore the sustainability program and the research that is taking place, other geeky episode just what we like!
Inter Rhône has three main missions: economic support, promotion of the appellations, and technical support. The latter is embodied by the ‘Institut Rhodanien’, where all our Research & Development is being carried I spoke to Julie Coutton, Intern Rhone, public relations manager to discover what research is taking place in the region.
Wine sustainability refers to a range of vineyard and wine production practices that are ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially responsible. Sustainable farmers may be certified (organic or biodynamic) or non-certified. Every vineyard site is different to get the best results in the bottle. Producers make decisions around certification based on how best to make their wine given the soil, climate and surroundings.
Converting a site to fully organic and biodynamic also needs to be done in stages over time so the land gets used to new practices. We talked with Julie about how the region is looking to mitigate the stress from drought, a tool for estimating water stress in the vineyard is the apex method. Based on the observation of the end of the branches, it is a simple method, which characterizes a growth dynamic, itself linked to the water constraint of the vine. It is to be carried out regularly, on a weekly basis.
Extensive research into new varieties is being conducted at the ‘Institut Rhodanien.’ Recently, four varieties have been accepted for experimental authorisation for Côtes du Rhône AOC due to their “adaptation to drought and late maturity.” These are white hybrid Floréal, Rolle (Vermentino), indigenous Carignan Blanc, and red hybrid Vidoc.
Other, topics that were part of the conversation are the study of sites and rootstock research, and winemaking practices to be more energy efficient. Intern Rhone holds talks and seminar for its member ensuring that they are always up to date to their scientific research Remember to subscribe and leave a review if you find this episode valuable to you!
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Paul Balke episode
Once again an informative and most interesting podcast - many thanks Mattia.
Insightful podcast. Well done! @mrCAwine
Drink up every episode!
A great podcast for learning about wine and furthering your knowledge about a range of topics, including regions, producers, grapes and trends in the industry. Mattia has a real passion for his subject and a genuine interest in his guests and their knowledge, but he cleverly achieves a light-hearted tone, with each discussion feeling like a friendly chat at the dinner table.