A Look at the Scientific Program at the Upcoming Sonoma Vintage Report
Returning for its second year, the Sonoma Vintage Report is happening March 7 at the Vintner’s Inn in Santa Rosa. This will be an excellent symposium to reflect on the previous year’s growing season and connect to the region’s brightest minds in viticulture and enology.
The Sonoma Vintage Report will include some of the region’s renowned vineyard and winemaking consultants to give a seasonal perspective on the 2017 vintage. In addition, the program will include the insight of wine industry practitioners from around Sonoma County. For a full list of participants, check out the conference agenda.
The Sonoma Vintage Report will take a data-driven approach toward observing the previous year’s growing season, explore new scientific concepts, absorb practical wisdom from wine practitioners and discuss how winegrowers view fruit quality.
There will be a lot of great concepts to dive into at the Sonoma Vintage Report. To get a quick view of the topics that will be covered, below we separated out the predominant themes that will be presented at the symposium:
Climate change has had a profound effect on our understanding of climate as winegrowers and 2017 was an exceptionally challenging growing year in Sonoma County. Earlier in the year, winegrowers around Sonoma County gave everything they had to protect their crops from a wide range of climatic challenges including severe early season flooding, extreme heat (both before and after) veraison, as well as persistent mildew. Vintners throughout the community demonstrated their resilience when confronted by the intense October firestorms.
The Sonoma Vintage Report will focus on distinct regions across the County and compare key climatic traits which affected plant and fruit development. Understanding the impact of seasonal conditions observed in 2017 should inspire more effective strategies to manage vineyards in the future, particularly under elevated temperatures.
Winegrowing Best Practices
The symposium will review the effects of seasonal management practices from a scientific perspective. This will include an examination on leaf area growth rate, the timing of Nitrogen uptake and the consequence on vine water needs. Practical take homes from the Vintage Report will touch on the relationships between crop coefficient, the timing of water deficit and the efficiency of irrigation regimes. This insight is intended to help winegrowers fine-tune their management strategies for the coming season.
A significant portion of the Sonoma Vintage Report will discuss concepts of maturity. Considering the proliferation of extreme heat events, we will analyze how heat waves can decouple technological maturity from phenolic maturity and examine the impact on harvest decisions. Scientific models describing active sugar and color accumulation rates will be presented to frame this dialogue.
Tannins and color
During the symposium we will present emerging concepts related to tannin and color interaction during the winemaking process. Color is important not only to assess fruit phenolic maturity but also to modulate tannin extraction into wine. Thus, a discussion on wine flavonoids should provide some background to illustrate testimonials from winemakers.
Highlighting the benefits and limitations of technological advances in winegrowing is one of the core focuses of the Vintage Report. With this, the Sonoma conference will look at how a data-driven approach can support empirical wisdom when making decisions in the vineyard. The Vintage Report will discuss how winegrowers can incorporate new scientific findings and decision tools, all the while relying on palate and a subjective assessment to be the ultimate judge of fruit maturity.
The Vintage Report is an excellent opportunity to learn about these concepts and more. We hope that you can attend the event! To learn more, check out the Sonoma Vintage Report Website.
Live Video Stream
If you cannot make the event in person, you can still view the presentations remotely from anywhere in the world. To watch the live video stream, select the Video Stream ticket option at the time of check out.
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