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.