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Are You Showing Too Much Skin?

The Drinks Business
September 19, 2015
By Roger Morris

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Winery: Inman Family Winery
Region: Russian River Valley, US
White grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc

“I am not a fan. Modern winemaking has moved towards using enzymes to achieve more of the benefits of skin contact. However, as more winemakers now are looking to not use enzymes in order to make more natural wines, it has led to a return to the longer skin contact. Overall, I think that crushing whites through a de-stemmer or a screw press (as opposed to using a gentle bladder press of whole clusters), cold soaking for 6-24 hours or fully fermenting them with the skin or other times of extended maceration with the skins adds some flavours, tannins and other phenolic components can affect texture and structure. Obviously they also affect the colour.

“Phenolics in the wine can cause ‘pinking,” which I think is unattractive. Orange wines did have a bump or resurgence of interest several years ago, but many of the wines were interesting but not always delicious. In my experience, white wines with extended maceration exhibit a more rustic, less elegant quality.”