Winemaking Techniques with Anne McHale MW
On Tuesday we welcomed Anne McHale MW back to the institute following on her star turn last year. Having left Berry Brothers & Rudd, Anne had taken the opportunity ti spend the harvest working in the Keermont Vineyard in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
She availed us of tales of long days of back breaking and exhausting work carrying out some of the basic processes in all wineries, before moving on to speak about the various techniques and methods used by winemakers the across the world and their resulting outcomes and effects on the final wines.
From Champagne aged in magnum bottles (before being decanted into standard bottles to sell!) to demonstrating the effects of oak versus un-oaked ageing, the effect of less contact in the wonderful Cosme Palacio 1894 Rioja Blanco 2009, the carbonic maceration of Beaujolais-Villages, the oxidative characteristics of the Ardanza Reserva, the baked flavours of Henriques&Henriques Maderia and the delicious Quinta de Vargellas Port demonstrating the effects of a long skin contact.
While I find it difficult to look past any Port, the consensus of the evening was that the white Rioja stole the show.