To Sort, or not to Sort
If you have ever visited one of our wineries, you probably noticed a sorting line, much like the one pictured below. What are we sorting out that makes such a difference in the finished wine? For starters, we want to make sure that there is no MOG getting into the fermentation tank. MOG, or material other than grape, can take a lot of shapes – leaves, canes, rocks, lizards, all things that don’t make wine delicious. Perhaps more importantly from a quantity standpoint, we are also looking for unripe grapes and rot that may have been missed in the field. From my perspective, removing these two items is key. Unripe grapes tend to have grippy, immature tannins and higher malic acid, a combination that detracts from overall quantity. As mentioned before, rotten clusters can contribute musty flavors as well as oxidative enzymes. Removing as many of these clusters as possible makes the difference between a good and a great wine.