Sunday, July 11, 2010

Does wild fermentation bring out the terroir? Humbug!

A friend sent me an interesting article from Germany about the relationship of wild fermentation and terroir. Research at Geisenheim, based on Riesling, has surprisingly shown that the cellar flora had more influence on the wine than the vineyard flora. In addition, wine fermented with bought yeasts showed better fruit characteristics than those fermented wild. Apparently this is because during a wild fermentation process many types of yeasts, related to fungi, bacteria and other external matters get involved. The article then quotes a number of contradictory findings. It then points to the additional risks of natural fermentation at no demonstrable benefit and that bought yeasts also come from vineyards and are not artificial. The article concludes that wild fermentation is a style element, but does not make the wine more 'natural' nor does it bring out the vineyard better.

Another case of the more we know, the more we know we know little, it seems to me.

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