Examining the Role of Oxygen as it Informs Chardonnay Styles

Glutathione, a natural grape antioxidant, can protect the aroma and flavor of white and rosé wines and prevent premature aging. The glutathione content in grapes indicates their antioxidant potential, and can be influenced by a number of factors including soil nitrogen, vineyard practices and grape maturity levels. Glutathione is often lost during the winemaking process through contact with air or copper residues and will also fluctuate during production, as the compound can be absorbed by yeast and released post fermentation. Steve Price and Eric Hervé of ETS Laboratories will share their research on the mechanics of glutathione in white wine production and its effect on wines’ biological and sensory performance. The research will be informed by a tasting of Willamette Valley Chardonnay and corresponding analysis from ETS. The discussion will focus on oxygen and its relationship to sensorial attributes of Chardonnay, namely how the wine is handled from grape to bottle and the intent behind the process. Winemakers Ken Pahlow of Walter Scott, Wynne Peterson-Nedry of Chehalem Winery and Marcus Goodfellow of Goodfellow Family Cellars will discuss their approach to the handling and aging of their wines, and how their individual approach defines the wine in its infancy and its life in the bottle.

Speaker Bios

An Oregon native and wine industry professional since 2002, Marcus is the proprietor and winemaker for Goodfellow Family Cellars and Matello Wines. Producing around 4,000 cases annually with fruit from Northern Willamette Valley vineyards, Goodfellow makes a range of wines focusing on a slower, more traditional process. He also sits on the board of the Deep Roots Coalition, a group of Oregon wineries dedicated to dry farming grape vines in the Pacific Northwest.
Eric Herve received his PhD from the Faculté d’Oenologie of Bordeaux, France, where he completed a research program on the key flavor components of Armagnac and Cognac brandies. Dr. Herve joined ETS Laboratories in 1997 to conduct a cork research program. By studying how natural corks transfer TCA to wine, he defined the concept of cork’s “Releasable TCA,” now become the tool of choice in the fight against cork taint worldwide. Eric is a TTB-certified chemist for analysis of wines, distilled spirits and beer, reporting on the presence of eucalyptol in wines with “minty” and “eucalyptus-like” odors, showing that these aromas often originate from eucalyptus trees growing near vineyards. In addition, he has developed new analytical tools to deal with emerging threats, such as TBA and smoke taint.
Ken Pahlow has been helping to make wine in Oregon for more than 23 years. His experience began in 1994 with production, sales and harvests at St. Innocent Winery, working under winemaker Mark Vlossak for 14 years. In 2009, Ken joined the harvest team at Patricia Green Cellars, where he also began producing the Walter Scott wines. In 2010, Ken accepted a position with Evening Land Vineyards to manage their Northwest sales and distribution, during which time he worked harvest and studied alongside winemaker Dominique Lafon. At the same time, Ken continued to expand his knowledge by representing world-class wine distributors. Starting in 1999 he began a 10-year stint with Vin de Garde and later worked for Galaxy Wine Company. These two portfolios represent many of the top wine estates from around the world, and provided a unique opportunity for Ken to educate his palate.
Second generation winemaker Wynne Peterson-Nedry has been at Chehalem literally from the beginning, as a 6-month-old in arms as her parents signed on the property that would become Ridgecrest Vineyards, in what is now known as the Ribbon Ridge AVA. Wynne followed in the footsteps of her father Harry by earning a chemistry degree from Bryn Mawr College in 2002, after which she went on to experience several careers before follwing her heart back to Oregon’s wine country. She graduated with a master’s degree from UC Davis’ Viticulture & Enology program in 2008 and went on to work vintages all over the world, including New Zealand, California and Burgundy. She officially joined the Chehalem family as assistant winemaker in June of 2009, and in early 2012 became Chehalem’s head winemaker.
Steve Price owns Price Research Services, Inc., a consulting firm offering technical support for the wine industries of Oregon, California and Australia. He is an Oregon resident with a vineyard in the Willamette Valley growing Pinot noir. Steve has developed the phenolic assays offered by ETS Laboratories, works with client support for the phenolic program and leads a range of ETS research projects. He has a PhD from Oregon State University in Plant Physiology and was Viticulturist at OSU for twelve years. He has been consulting with ETS since 1995.