Enology Notes

Enology Notes #119, October 17, 2006

To: Regional Wine Producers

From: Bruce Zoecklein, Head, Enology-Grape Chemistry Group, Virginia Tech

Subject: Juice and Wine Analysis Short Course; Winery Planning and Design Workshop; Winery Planning and Design CD Available; Electronic Nose Research

1. Juice and Wine Analysis Short Course. The Enology-Grape Chemistry Group will offer its annual two-day juice and wine analysis short course on January 10 and 11, 2007. This program will be a hands-on, practically-oriented laboratory course. It will be conducted in the teaching laboratory of the Food Science and Technology Building at Virginia Tech.

This program will include the following:

  • Establishing a winery laboratory
  • Good laboratory practices/HACCP planning/precision and accuracy
  • Fruit processing basics
  • Maturity indices
  • pH basics
  • Titration and titratable acidity
  • Fermentable nitrogen
  • Sugars
  • Pectins/glucans/filterability
  • Alcohol
  • Protein stability
  • Bitartrate stability
  • Oxidative stability and aldehydes
  • Organic acids
  • Volatile acidity
  • Sulfur dioxide and sulfur-containing compounds
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Introduction to remission photometry
  • Virginia Tech’s analytical lab service

Registrants will participate in hands-on analysis. Analysis will be supplemented with a laboratory manual and discussions concerning the practical winemaking significance of each test.

Enrollment is limited: The short course will be limited to a total of 14 participants. You must register for both days. Registration preference will be given to Virginia bonded winery owners and representatives, and prospective Virginia winery owners who register BEFORE WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2006.

After that date, open enrollment will be offered, if space is available.

Preference will be given to those already in the commercial wine industry.

Cost: $450 per person. Make checks payable to: Virginia Tech Foundation. On the memo line of your check, please note Juice/Wine SC AND the name of the winery you represent.

Mail to:

Terry Rakestraw,
Department of Food Science & Technology,
25-A FST Bldg.,
Virginia Tech - 0418,
Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Course fee is non-refundable.

2. Winery Planning and Design Workshop. On March 5, 2007, we are conducting a Winery Planning and Design Workshop, in conjunction with Wineries Unlimited. This year’s program will be at the Valley Forge Convention Center, just outside Philadelphia. 

This one-day meeting will include a variety of topics with an emphasis on design considerations:

Winery Design

  • Winery Design Considerations
  • Winery Layout

Winery Equipment

  • Equipment Considerations
  • Equipping a Small Winery
  • Fermentation and Storage Vessel Considerations
  • Wine Caves
  • Gravity Flow Winery Designs

Examples of Winery Designs

  • Winery Architecture
  • Winery Designs, Case Studies, and Winery Tasting Room Design

Water Requirements and Wastewater Treatment

Also included: winery business planning, winery economics, and refrigeration.

For registration information see: www.wineriesunlimited.com. This site should be accepting registration by 10/22/2006.

3. Winery Planning and Design CD Available.  This comprehensive 200-page review covers the essential planning and design considerations of critical importance in winery establishment. The CD covers the topics listed below. Each subject area is reviewed in a simple-to-read outline form.

The Winery Planning and Design CD is available through Practical Winery and Vineyard magazine for $95. Email them at or call (415) 479-5819.

Winery Planning and Design CD subject areas:

Winery Business Planning

  • Elements of a Successful Business Plan
  • Tips for a Successful Executive Summary
  • Small Business Development Center Business Plan Outline
  • Business Plan Worksheet

Winery Economics

  • The Economics of Various Size Wineries and Economies of Scale
  • Cash Flow Review 
  • Starting a New Winery

Winery Design

  • Winery Design Considerations
  • Winery Layout

Winery Equipment

  • Equipment Considerations
  • Equipping a Small Winery
  • Fermentation and Storage Vessel Considerations
  • Wine Caves
  • Gravity Flow Winery Designs

Examples of Winery Designs

  • Winery Architecture
  • Winery Designs and Case Studies
  • Winery Tasting Room Design

Green Wineries and Sustainable Winegrowing

Winery Refrigeration

Winery Water Requirements

Winery Wastewater Treatment

The Winery Laboratory and HACCP Planning

Winery Legal Issues

4. Electronic Nose Research.  We have been exploring the use of an electronic nose to evaluate grape maturity. Grape maturity is a critical attribute impacting potential wine quality. Maturity evaluation is difficult due to the many interrelated factors that impact physicochemical changes, and limitations in the understanding of these factors.

Currently, grape maturity evaluation often includes destructive test(s) and the measurement of analytes that are not always strongly correlated to potential wine quality.

We know that the pool of free aroma components and their precursors increases rapidly with the advanced stages of fruit maturity, referred to as engustment.

The electronic nose is a relatively new technology utilized in a variety of applications in the medical field and food industries. It is a basic simulation of the human olfactory system.  

We are using a conducting polymer-based electronic nose to monitor Cabernet Sauvignon (Vitis vinifera L.) fruit maturity 18, 19, and 20 weeks post-bloom in intact clusters on the vine, by analyzing headspace volatiles. 

Results were compared with standard maturity assays using discriminant and canonical analysis. The electronic nose was able to determine the difference between maturity groups.

The success of this approach to maturity evaluation is likely due to the vast number of chemical species which contribute to grape varietal character, most of which are generally not considered in standard chemical analysis.

This research to date demonstrates the potential for this relatively new technology to be used as a rapid and objective tool for evaluating grape maturity.  We continue to explore the use of electronic nose technology to monitor and gauge fruit maturity. Our thanks to the Virginia WineBoard for the support of this effort!

Subscription to Enology Notes. All past Enology Notes newsjournals are posted on the Enology-Grape Chemistry Group's web site at: http://www.vtwines.info/.

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Dr. Bruce Zoecklein
Professor and Enology Specialist Head Enology-Grape Chemistry Group
Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg VA 24061
Enology-Grape Chemistry Group Web address: http://www.vtwines.info/
Phone: (540) 231-5325
Fax: (540) 231-9293
Cell phone: 540-998-9025