The modern wine industry is a growing business that has seen a great deal of change in recent years. From the development of alternative winemaking techniques to the creation of stainless-steel fermentation tanks, the world of viticulture is changing and adapting to an ever-changing climate.
Viticulture, or the science of growing grapes, has a long history. From the Romans to the present, people have cultivated grapes for a variety of purposes. Some cultivars of red and white grapes are grown for wine production. Others are used for fresh consumption.
A viticulture program can help you learn more about the process of turning grapes into wine. It is important to understand how grapes are produced and what factors affect their growth. Increasing knowledge about viticulture can also broaden your appreciation for winemaking.
The viticulture program at Cornell University is a vital component of the New York grape and wine industry. Since 1985, the foundation and Cornell have partnered to support research and education. This support has been instrumental in growing the industry.
Recent technological developments have provided useful tools for controlling vine growth and monitoring its performance. They have also saved time and manpower. In addition, they have reduced environmental impacts.
Precision viticulture is a management approach that seeks to maximize the use of observations. It can simultaneously increase the quality and yield of wines.
Stainless-steel fermentation tanks
When it comes to modern wine making, stainless-steel fermentation tanks are the wave of the future. They are cost effective, easy to clean, and help preserve the flavor of fresh fruit in your wines.
For centuries, European vintners have used concrete fermenters. In the past, they were cheap and easy to make, but were hard to maintain. It was only in the last few years that they have been experiencing a resurgence.
This is mainly due to advances in fabrication. While they are similar to stainless-steel tanks, they offer a different perspective.
Stainless-steel tanks also have a long lifespan. Unlike wood barrels, they can last for many years without sustaining oxidation. And while they are not ideal for winemakers, they are still preferred by many.
Another benefit of stainless-steel is its sterility. Since they are impermeable, bacteria are not able to get into the wine. However, you should be careful to ensure that your vessel is of good quality.
Alternative winemaking approaches and techniques
Various winemaking approaches and techniques are used to produce different kinds of wines. The quality of a wine depends on the quality of its grapes and the time of harvest. Winemakers can use different techniques to increase alcohol content, flavor and color of their wines.
Red and white wines are made from different grape varieties. The color of the wine is determined by the skins of the grapes. A red wine is made from the must of red or black grapes, and a white wine is made from the juice of white grapes.
Different types of yeasts are used to ferment the wine. Some of the strains can produce alcohol as high as 18%. Moreover, the type of yeast used has a great influence on the quality of the wine.
Secondary fermentation is usually initiated by inoculation of desired bacteria. Typically, this fermentation takes place in large stainless steel or oak barrels.
In order to increase the alcohol content of the wine, some winemakers add sugar to the grapes. Some of these additives are known as chaptalization.
Impact of climate change
The modern wine industry is facing a range of challenges from climate change. These challenges will affect the way wine is made, the cost of production, and the eventual sale of the product.
Winemakers are already changing their practices to cope with climate change. Some are moving their vineyards to higher altitudes and other regions to avoid the heat. Others are experimenting with new ways to work with affected crops.
Winemakers are also concerned about the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. This includes droughts, storms, and wildfires. Many of these events have already taken a toll on the French wine industry.
Scientists are also finding that the quality of vintages is improving in tandem with rising temperatures. However, the results are not uniform. Even in iconic wine regions, slight shifts in temperature or rainfall can have an impact on a good vintage.
In the past 50 years, the average growing season temperature in California has increased by 2.0 degF. Climate scientists predict that this could increase to 2.04degC in the next fifty years.