Vineyard & Winery Management

January - February 2012

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WINERY Philosophy of Tannin Management A By Caleb Foster Taking a natural approach to tannin quality control hen it comes to tan- nin management , and all things that shape the final expression of a wine, I believe in starting with an end style in mind, and then finding the best path to get there. While this style will likely be dif- ferent for every winemak- er, the goal of fine wines from a tannin perspective is to achieve the highest- quality ripe tannins in the vineyard, and to build the volume necessary during winemaking to match the richness of the vintage. After 20 years as a winemaker – at Buty Win- ery in Walla Walla, Wash., as wel l as Woodward Canyon, Chateau Ste. Michelle and others – I view making wine as part of a larger process, with many interconnections and contributions. I've also come to believe that great vineyards and great wines have a soul. In keeping with these beliefs, my winemaking philosophy reflects the idea of growth and refinement at every stage – with each level building on the last to cre- ate a more complex and cohesive whole. This phi- losophy offers a holistic way to view key winemak- ing issues like tannin man- agement. From a practical stand- point, this means that I approach tannin manage- ment comprehensively. Instead of being just one or two steps in the pro- cess, it informs all stages of the process. IN THE VINEYARD Knowing the range of phenolic development for each of the vineyards I work with, I can tailor light, shade and watering, while matching the appropriate growing-season length to each site's variety. One AT A GLANCE Tannin management isn't just one part of the winemaking process, it should be integrated into each step. You can't easily remove unripe tannins from your harvest; you can only grow good tannins. Uneven ripening in a vineyard significantly limits tannin qual- ity control. For Caleb Foster of Buty Winery, tannin management begins in the vineyard. WWW.VWM-ONLINE.COM Good tannin management practices give you control over style, and help you achieve consistency year after year. JAN - FEB 2012 VINEYARD & WINERY MANAGEMENT 77

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