Speaking to the drinks business at last month’s World Bulk Wine Exhibition in Amsterdam, ConeTech’s vice-president of operations at Jack Ryno stated that the company “processes one quarter of all the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay produced in California”.
That seems like a large number…FWIW, I personally don’t have any first hand knowledge of any boutique producer I know (in my area) using this technology… (Even though I believe their offices are nearby the Santa Rosa Airport)
I am not surprised by this at all, and I do believe it happens at ALL levels of production, but more often at the larger ones. Why do wineries do this?
Unbalanced wines . . .
Tax reasons - to bring the wine below 14.0 % to save on excise taxes
Just part of their winemaking practices
I’ve heard of specific cab and rhone variety producers who use this technology as part of their general winemaking strategy. They pick ripe in order to achieve the ‘flavors’ they are after, and then ‘spin in back’ later . . .
I agree. The implication is that it is by volume, which would mean that if any “big” producers used this technique it would have a greater impact on the total. I think the argument has been made that the vast majority of winemaking practices originated in France and then were copied in the U. S… I don’t know if this argument is true nor do I know if any of my favorite producers use interventionist techniques. To me what matters is what does the wine taste like and do I enjoy the result. You might get some intellectual satisfaction from thinking your favorite producers are paragons of non-interventionist practices but in the end the only thing that matters is the wine actually produced IMHO. If you can tell without a doubt that certain wines are terroir driven and pure then you have nothing to worry about rumored or even published stories about techniques.
This article was interesting reading and a good discussion point.
Anybody want to do a little math with me? The article states that 1/4 of all the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir made in California have the alcohol spun out by this company. It also states that the spun the alcohol out of 9 million cases of California wine.
California produced approximately 44 million cases of Chardonnay in 2012 so 1/4 of that is 11 million cases, alone. But wait, they only processed 9 million total? Could they be (gasp) exaggerating to make their business seem more successful that it actually is? Perish the thought.
Wow, I never guessed it would be that high for Pinot and Chard.
I figured at first, that their CA facility would be Monterey, which would make sense, since that area makes lesser wines on the fertile valley floor. So I was a bit surprised when it shows they are in Santa Rosa.
Interesting Roy. There are obviously a large number of Pinot/Chard producers ranging from Santa Barbara through San Louis Obispo and on up into Monterrey but there is also nothing to stop producers from further north from shipping the juice down to be processed. I also would have thought that the plains around Santa Rosa and Sonoma would be a viable site or maybe central valley somewhere. But as Adam stated their 9 million cases is nowhere near 25% of the total production of Pinot/Chard in the state of California. Also they were addressing bulk wine producers so maybe we are way off base and they were only talking about bulk wine?
Folks, it a crap “article.” It is them trying to sell their services at a convention and someone writing an “article” about it. The numbers don’t even come close to adding up. — Fortunately, at the end of the article we are told that all of our problems as winemakers can’t be solved by Conetech (something I long wondered about).