Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fall Harvest Experience: Lab style

I completed my fall harvest experience at Coeur de Terre Vineyards, owned by Scott and Lisa Neal. First off the place is absolutely gorgeous. Every drive out there left me breathless due to the hidden vineyard 15 minutes off of highway 18 overlooking a small valley. 

Being a chemistry major I spend most of my time in the winery and lab instead of out in the fields. My tasks included taking tank temperatures, measuring brix, checking the pH, calculating the titratable acidity and using a mass spectrometor to look at the malic acid and YAN values of the fermenting grapes. I learned very quickly that you do not work in a closed environment around fermenting grapes or you will pass out from the large amounts of carbon dioxide they are producing. 

There is so much to learn about what happens in a winery beside just the grapes being cut and pressed. See the decisions Scott makes from the data I provided to him was a great way to follow the grapes through their stages. I look forward to doing more work there as time allows in the following year. 

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