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Symposium Highlights Modern Day Winemaking

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winemaking is an ancient art, but today it's a modern business with many moving parts. Ken Freeze is a behind-the-scenes representative for the Wine & Grape Symposium.

Ken Freeze: "We've got big harvesters, irrigation equipment, pumps, barrels, analytical services because you need to test your soil. Every aspect literally from where you plant the vines in the ground to the marketing of the finished product is here in some form"

One of the 640 exhibits is a glassed-in bottling machine called a monoblock. It moves 3,000 bottles an hour. Andy Robinson of Prospero Corporation says it keeps oxygen out of the bottle.

Andy Robinson: "Oxygen is our big bad thing that we're always trying to eliminate because it's what's going to spoil the wine."

Gilles Poitras came from Quebec. He brought to the symposium floor a new stainless steel fermentation tank. Its ingenuity is that instead of being traditionally round, it's square.

Gilles Poitra: "Two advantages are better fermentation, first, and secondly it's to maximize your floor space in a winery."

Scott Laboratories is a 78-year-old company that began as a yeast propagator. Zachary Scott is the family's new generation that embraces technology for winemaking.

Zachary Scott: "You need to figure  out new and  innovative ways to get each of those singular grapes off the vine in as delicate way as possible to make the kind of wine people want to make."

The wine symposium ends this afternoon.
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