My years of using multiple, individual yeast and MLB strains and then blending them to create different wines over several vintages has allowed me to better understand what components might be useful for dialing in a desired wine style, kind of like organoleptic reverse-engineering. I also feel that I can impart this way of thinking to other winemakers so that when I leave, you are not just following some static set of directions/recipes, but actually understand the underlying concepts and can then make your own informed decisions about future wine styles.

  • Creating a balanced must: A balanced must is critical to making nice wine, and I can show you how to both test and taste for this, as well as how to create options for individual wine styles. Getting the pH, Brix, tannins and other structural elements in harmony before you begin the fermentation is absolutely fundamental to making beautiful wine!

  • Fermentation management: Of course, it does no good to have the right yeasts in a balanced must if you don’t manage your fermentation properly. There are several, critical, interconnected elements involved in this and their sum total has a direct affect on the outcome of the final wine. The most notable of these are temperature, nutrients, tannins and oxygen. Understanding how they all work together is actually quite important and I will be happy to explain exactly why.

  • Wine handling/cellaring: The handling of the wine during it's cellaring or ageing process also affects the final wine quite a bit in ways that may not be readily apparent. In addition, the wine must continuously be monitored to make sure it is developing as we would like. SO2, tannin management, oak integration and mouthfeel/structure are all being worked on during the entire ageing process. Just because the wine is in the carboy, tank, or barrel doesn't mean our job as winemakers is done, yet.

  • Bench trials: It is really only by tasting the impact individual winemaking products have on our wines that we are able develop both our palate and increase our understanding of how to use these tools. If we are extremely lucky, our wines will be perfectly balanced year after year without us having to do anything. However, if at some point a corrective action/adjustment is needed, then it is nice to know which product(s) gives us the tools to do the job. Interestingly, the best results often come from blending small amounts of more than one product's actions over a period of time, and I can help you learn how to do this effectively.

  • Blending: Finally, I would be happy to assist in any blending questions or decisions.

All of these above-mentioned services are completely symbiotic and really need to be thought of as being complimentary, and not separate from each other. Any wine will only be as good as the weakest link in it's chain of creation.

Dialing a delicious 3-yeast cider blend!
Tasting agave Durangensis fermentations at Cuero Viejo palenque, Durango Mexico
Monitoring fermentation...