Considerations for Picking and Lab Analysis During Harvest

Assessing fruit maturity and physiological ripeness to inform picking decisions too often relies on subjective processes. Through the implementation of thorough sampling, relevant analysis, and a more holistic understanding of fruit development during the growing season, producers can harvest with more confidence that they have made the correct decisions regarding picks. The panel will discuss sampling protocols for more statistically meaningful vineyard data, viticultural signs such as berry development and canopy senescence, picking for logistical considerations vs. picking for perfection, and best lab practices for sample processing and appropriate analysis.

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Speaker Bios

Karl Weichold has more than a decade of winemaking and enology experience across a wide spectrum of production scales. He graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in biochemistry in 2006. Karl began his career in wine working with several wineries in the Texas Hill Country in a variety of roles. In 2015 he joined Erath Winery as assistant winemaker. He has since been instrumental in Erath’s pursuit of crafting fine Oregon wines and growing its portfolio, including participating in the creation and implementation of novel approaches to winemaking across different modes of production.
Cecilia Cunningham, a native of Argentina, discovered wine in college while pursuing dual degrees in engineering and agriculture. From there, Cecilia began a journey to immerse herself further in the technical side of wine, beginning with an internship in France at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Gruissan (INRA Pech Rouge) where she focused on water stress and its impact on wine—a topic that would become increasingly important for vineyards throughout the globe. Cecilia continued to build her skillset by working in New Zealand and the United States for Chandon, Hess, and Indevin before returning to Argentina to work on several vineyard and winery projects. In 2011, Vivelys, a global R&D organization, tapped Cecilia to apply her diverse skills to their winery clients. Here she was able to fuse her engineering and agricultural background with sensory evaluation, resulting in a unique approach to reverse-engineer the winemaking process toward a higher expression of quality along with wine profile clarity.
Geoff Hall grew up in Idaho skiing, hiking, and fishing, which led him to a degree in biology at University of Idaho. Geoff began a master’s degree in viticulture at WSU-Prosser after falling in love with botany and horticulture during undergrad. After college, Geoff worked in Italy, Tasmania, and Washington in various viticulture roles. He landed at Argyle Winery in 2017 as the head viticulturist, overseeing 400+ acres of Oregon vineyards as well as Argyle’s parent company’s Napa and Sonoma viticulture program.
Olivier Prost studied in his native France, first winemaking and viticulture in Montpellier and later beverage and wine marketing in Paris. Starting in 1998, he began working harvests in Languedoc-Roussillon, Bordeaux, and Burgundy, and then headed abroad to Napa, New Zealand, and Australia. In 2009, Olivier came to A to Z Wineworks where he served as cellar hand, cellar master, assistant winemaker, and now associate winemaker.
Anna Welch Prost serves an integral role in winemaking with a primary focus on A to Z’s white and rosé wines. After receiving her degree in horticulture from Cal Poly, Anna studied at Lincoln University in New Zealand and later completed the Chemeketa winemaking program. She worked at Chappellet and Cardinale wineries in California, Delegat Wine Estates in New Zealand, and Vasse Felix Winery in Australia before coming to A to Z for the 2009 harvest. After harvest, she continued on as lab technician, then lab manager, enologist and assistant winemaker before becoming associate winemaker.