Seeking Pinot Noir Data - Printable Version

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- Joe Schmoe - 02-14-1999 10:18 AM


Are there any wine makers out there that have conducted research on flavour profiles vs. extraction techniques (i.e. with/without stems or pre ferment maceration etc. and how this affects the flavour compounds of the finished wine.)

I know this is a bit dorkish, but I am trying to put a fresh spin on my Master of Wine thesis, and it is this area of PN oenology that interests me most.

The data would be treated in the strictest confidence.



- Jerry D Mead - 02-14-1999 04:04 PM

Joe...I'll try to send a couple of Pinot producers your way.


- Dick Peterson - 02-14-1999 06:17 PM

I don't make Pinot Noir any more but most winemakers who do have their own histories and experience levels with how the flavor, body, etc can change with handling. First, the most likely thing that will change the style and flavor of Pinot is the location and year in which the grapes were grown. You already knew that but unless you actually try it in several locations you can't discuss the differences because there aren't any easy terms to describe the flavor differences you'll see. It's easier to taste them together and see the differences than write descriptors of the differences that outside readers will understand. My memory of the best Pinots I made (from Monterey County) was that the wines were infinitely better as the brix level at picking went up. That was also true in Napa Valley when I made Pinot at Beaulieu Vineyard but it was always true that the Monterey wines were better also. I'm sure it was because the Monterey climate was considerably cooler in the summer than anything in Napa Valley even though Napa is farther north. (Monterey is much more influenced by the cold Alaska current offshore.)

I'd suggest that you choose the labels you like best, then write to each of the winemakers there and ask them for their thoughts. Dick Petersoon

- Bucko - 02-14-1999 06:37 PM

I know that Mondavi did a lot of research into the various clones, trellis styles, standard 4x8 plantings vs. closer plantings, etc., etc. That would be one valuable source.


- Joe Schmoe - 02-15-1999 06:45 AM

Thanks Bucko!

Do you have a useful E-mail address with which to infiltrate the Mondavi defences?


P.S. If this is sensitive information that I must consume orally having read it, please send it to:-

Thanks again.

- Kcwhippet - 02-15-1999 08:24 AM


David Coffaro of Coffaro Winery conducted an experiment recently using three different vinification techniques on PN from the same source. He outlined the experiment in his on-line diary at It's a very interesting account, and it sounds as if he was trying to find the same things you're interested in. I believe he also got some assistance from Adam Lee of Siduri Winery (

There may be something of value here for your research.


- Bucko - 02-15-1999 11:42 AM

Mondavi's email address is


- Karena Shannon - 02-16-1999 10:05 PM

Another place that may be able to help you is Archery Summit in Oregon. When we visited them, they were quite proud of all of the experimentation they were doing re: different clones, soils, elevage. They don't have much of a cyber-presence that I could find, but a page with some info on it is at

- Jerry D Mead - 02-17-1999 12:05 AM

Ken Burnap owns a small vineyard called Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard where he has been making outstading Pinot Noir since 1975, from vines yielding as little as 1/2 ton to the acre, and employing wild yeasts from day one...Burnap also uses very long skin contact. You can reach him by e-mail at Tell him I sent you.


- Jason - 02-17-1999 09:02 AM

Archery Summit is owned by the folks at Pine Ridge winery in Stag's Leap. It may be easier to reach them here. Gary Andrus is the owner of both.

- Woodman - 02-18-1999 11:13 AM

Try contacting Laurent Montalieu at WillKenzie Estate. They are doing some of the same clonal experiments as Archery Summit, and he has an e-mail address, unlike many other Oregon winemakers:

Just for the heck of it, ask Brian O'Donnell of Belle Pente as well:

- Joe Schmoe - 02-21-1999 07:16 AM

Thanks for all your help folks!

I've just got off the plane from Biofach in Nuremberg, the world's largest organic trade fair (Good organic wine isn't easy to come by it seems.) I will follow up on all your leads ASAP. Thanks once again!

Joe Wadsack (a.k.a. Joe Schmoe)