The Next Level In Taste


The Technology of Wine

The Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival is one of the most highly anticipated and revered food and wine events of the season.  This series of wine tastings, luncheons, cooking demonstrations and dinners is undeniably one of the most decadent culinary events of the season.   Although it is only in its third year, the event boasts a collection of 60 of the most celebrated celebrity chefs and over 250 wineries on the pristine coastline of Pebble Beach.

One of the most interesting conversations during the festival occurred at the 1990 first growth Bordeaux 20 years later tasting.  The tasting featured the most highly revered wines in the world including: Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Haut-Brionand, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild.   The conversation turned to technology, where the hosts dared to discuss the topic of reverse osmosis.

Reverse osmosis technology provides a winery the ability to either remove alcohol from a fermented juice that is “too hot” or remove water from must (unfermented juice) that has been diluted by rain.  This is of course the challenge in wine making; determining where best to plant the grape varietals, and what to do if you figure out the planting was not in the perfect location.

The hosts of the Bordeaux tasting including the editor of Food and Wine Magazine, Ray Isle, discussed the integration of reverse osmosis as the greatest advance in technology in wine making in the last 20 years.  There is great controversy surrounding this process, however as most wine masters refuse to admit any use of this technique.  Grape Craft puts the controversy in some perspective. “All wines require fine-tuning just as all other cooking requires the chef, just at the end, to “adjust seasoning.”  Like most technological advances, early adopters have embraced this technique while traditionalists continue to cry foul.  Regardless of your camp, in this foodie’s opinion if reverse osmosis can improve on these impeccable wines, the utilization of this technology in wine making should be embraced not shunned.

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