I’m a sensitive person; I admit it – emotionally, but also physically, although the latter shines through immediately, while the former is somewhat hidden from others. Wine has been an amazing outlet for me in the physical sense. I recently realized, similar to the way the shape of a glass can affect the aromatic side of a wine, that this chemical reaction is actually applicable as an analogy for what an object absorbs and then either changes or immediately converts to emit something that is a product of its environment.
Whenever I get to learn a new winemaking task, I get really excited; I know, it sounds a little ridiculous, but you have to remember that all winemaking is like a story. There are no chapters you can skip. This week I finally got to learn about topping up barrels.
I remember thinking in my high school chem class that a person had to have that special bond with science in order to understand what was going on. In short, I thought they had to have “chemistry” with chemistry. What I’ve been slowly learning at the winery is the impact that everything can have on how that bin of juice becomes a healthy and ageable wine. It’s all connected like a story. It’s easier now for me to see how chemistry and the concept of “terroir” are similar, only one has more tangible, anticipated results while the other’s results have been described as being based on variables that may or may not be there year after year. One is more definable than the other. Here are some chemistry highlights that I’ve found fascinating so far during my internship.
When a bin of fruit has gone dry (ie; it has reached the negative range on the hydrometer during a Brix reading), it is essentially ready to be pressed. But to ready a bin for pressing, you must first ready a barrel or two.