The Cold Soak

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

The use of a ‘cold soak’, or pre-fermentation maceration, is one of the more intriguing techniques used in the production of Pinot Noir. The process tends to happen naturally in Burgundy, where the cool temperatures at harvest, and the use of wild yeast, cause the onset of fermentation to be delayed, and for a period [...]

Maceration, Plunging, and Pump Overs

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Pinot Noir should have alluring fragrance and richness of texture. A key to achieving both these aims is how the winemaker manages the maceration of the skins (and seeds and stalks) in the juice. In the process of extracting colour, phenolics, and flavour, there are an infinite number of permutations. One of these is the [...]

Planting Density

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

The spacing of vines, or planting density, is one facet of Burgundian vine growing that New World growers have been reluctant to emulate. Standard vine spacing in Burgundy is 1 metre x 1 metre, giving 10,000 vines per hectare. This high level of planting density is considered beneficial in several ways. One is that competition [...]

Trellising and Training Methods

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

As most winemakers (and all viticulturists) will attest to, it is mostly the quality of the fruit that determines the end quality of the wine. The winemaker can’t transform substandard fruit into great wine.  The set-up of the vineyard is important in creating the right environment for achieving healthy and balanced vines, and hence healthy, [...]

Pinot Noir Clones: An Australian Perspective

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Pinot Noir is considered to be a “genetically unstable” grape variety. This means that it is prone to mutation, and as a result there are hundreds of different clones of Pinot Noir. The fact that Pinot Noir is an ancient variety has also allowed a diversity of clones to develop. Perhaps most importantly, Pinot Noir [...]


Friday, October 29th, 2010 focuses on one of the great sites for Pinot Noir, the Richebourg vineyard in Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy. History…it’s just one thing after another Most of Richebourg was owned by the monastery of Citeaux until it was sold off as a bien national in 1790. This was part of the nationalisation process following the revolution.  This process divided [...]