You can experience these legacies, learn more about their vineyards and wines, as well hear the fascinating history of the entire region on the maiden voyage of the First Crush Historical Vineyard and Winery Tour, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. and again on May 20 at 10:00 a.m.
Janell Dusi's story dates back to the early 1920s, when Sylvester and Caterina Dusi emigrated from Northern Italy and settled in Paso Robles. The Dusis introduced some of the first Zinfandels to California's Central Coast. Zinfandel was the Italian varietal of choice at the time, and remains the vineyard's mainstay varietal today.
The name is ancient, deriving from the names of kings mentioned in the Bible. Jeroboam, for example, was a king of Israel. His name was first applied to a size of wine bottle in a work by Sir Walter Scott (another Scotsman, you will notice) and seems to have been a joke derived from the description of Jeroboam in the first book of Kings as “a mighty man of valour” who “made Israel to sin”.
Yes Virginia, Louis Pasteur did actually pay a significant role in the use of yeast in wine fermentation. Though most commonly known for his work with milk pasturization, in 1857, Louis Pasteur discovered microscopic cells reproducing in soured milk that he thought to be lactic acid yeasts. They turned out to be bacteria, but the important part of his discovery is that the yeasts were alive. Two years later, Pasteur presented, a "Note on Alcohol Fermentation" -- a paper that demonstrated that yeasts growing and reproducing caused fermentation. Prior to that time, it was thought that alcohol and carbon dioxide were produced through a theory of spontaneous generation.
It was later shown that Pasteur was partially correct and partially wrong, but Pasteur made an amazing discovery about yeast cells: they can live without oxygen. From this he concluded that "fermentation is life without oxygen." This is also not true since we now know that yeasts cause better fermentation in the presence of oxygen but at least Pasteur recognized this possibility before anyone else. Pasteur died before two German brothers discovered that yeasts "per se" aren't actually the cause of fermentation.
For more on the subject, read "The Miracle of Wine Yeast" by Jack Keller. You can also learn more about the current impacts of cultured yeast on wine production at the July 2011 First Crush Winemaking Workshop featuring yeast expert, Andre Austin of CellarWise in Paso Robles, California. The workshop will be held at the First Crush Wine Workshop, located at 2995 Pleasant Road in Paso Robles on July 23, 2011, 2 - 5 p.m. Call (805) 434-2772 for more information or to register, or register online.
Though many think that winemaking is new to the Paso Robles area, winemaking began in 1790's when the Franciscan Friars at the Asistencia located at Santa Margarita Ranch (assistant chapel to Mission SLO).
Believe it or not, there are three buds on a two-bud spur.
When a grape vine buds, it begins by pushing the bud farthest from the cordon. When it is pruned to two buds, you leave two fruiting buds but there is also a basal bud located next to the cordon which usually remains dormant. There are situations when a grower may need the basal bud to bloom. If you'd like to learn when and why, attend our February 26, 2011 Berry to Bottle University Winemaking Workshop.
ANSWER: Malolactic fermentation is the natural process of converting malic acid to lactic acid.It occurs naturally by letting remaining bacteria feed on the wine’s malic acid. It is typically encouraged in most red wines and some whites like Chardonnays. There are several reasons a winemaker may encourage this process. But as a wine drinker, the main effect you will notice in wines that have undergone this process is a “softening” of the wine’s mouth feel. This process effectively reduces the wine's overall natural acidity, thus reducing its crisp and tart characteristics, thus creating a softer, seemingly sweeter wine. Malolactic fermentation can also reduce or remove other undesirable flavor components.
Have you ever pondered how to properly pour your bubbly? You've probably heard different methods and reasons for those methods. And whil you may or may not really care, apparently some people have given it a lot of thought. You're probably going to sip some bubbly this weekend so I thought I'd share this article that I stumbled upon.
The article is "How to Pour that drink, scientifically," by Alan Boyle from the Cosmic Log blog.
Malbec is the dominant red varietal in the Cahors area. The Appellation Controlée regulations for Cahors require a minimum content of 70% Malbec in wines produced from the region.
Carbon dioxide in the form of dry ice is often used in the wine making process to cool down bunches of grapes quickly after picking to help prevent spontaneous fermentation by wild yeasts. The main advantage of using dry ice over regular water ice is that it cools the grapes without adding any additional water that may decrease the sugar concentration in the grape must, and therefore also decrease the alcohol concentration in the finished wine.
Dry ice is also used during the cold soak phase of the wine making process to keep grapes cool. The carbon dioxide gas that results from the sublimation of the dry ice tends to settle to the bottom of tanks because it is heavier than regular air. The settled carbon dioxide gas creates an hypoxic environment which helps to prevent bacteria from growing on the grapes until it is time to start the fermentation with the desired strain of yeast.
Carbon dioxide is also used to create a hypoxic environment for carbonic maceration, the process used to produce Beaujolais wine.
Come and pick grapes and use dry ice for the cold soak at the First Crush Harvest October 9! Register now!
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Winery/Office: 2975 Limestone WayPaso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 434-2772 Fax (805) 434-3337