Monday, January 25, 2010
We keep hearing about how the new wine consumer, AKA the Millennial, demands transparency and authenticity in products they purchase. There have been numerous articles and blogposts detailing this shift in marketing approach.
At the same time, there has a marked increase in online discussions and articles about how the grapes are grown and about the winemaking process in the cellar. The organic, biodynamic and natural wine niches have become so popular, they will soon no longer be niches but will become relatively absorbed into mainstream winemaking practices.
All of the above, has led to a new level of transparency from winemakers about what exactly goes into that bottle of wine you are drinking with dinner.
Randall Grahm, owner of Bonny Doon Vineyards, has been a trail blazer in this movement as he has been so many times before in the wine world.
I recently sampled a bottle of Bonny Doon Central Coast Syrah 'Le Pousseur' 2006 $18. This was a great domestic syrah with exuberant blackberry fruit upfront as well as a solid mineral quality & firm acids to provide balance.
This is the list of ingredients listed on the back label: Grapes, tartaric acids, tannin and sulfur dioxide.
Other ingredients used for winemaking: indigenous yeasts, yeast nutrients, cultured yeasts, copper sulfate, untoasted wood chips, and French oak barrels.
At time of bottling, this product contained: 58 ppm total SO2 and 25 ppm free SO2.
I applaud Randall Grahm's candid admissions, as well as his evolving winemaking style.
I am thinking that many wine lovers would cringe if they knew how many additives are routinely added to commercial wines, even more so if they also understood why the additives were being used.
My line of logic is that people who are attempting to eat healthier and purchase fewer processed foods, are probably going to eventually start caring about wines that are less 'processed' as well.
My question is this: Are wine consumers ready to know more about what exactly what's in the wine bottle? If so, what will they do with this information and how will it change winemaking styles as a result?
*The Bonny Doon Syrah 2006 Le Pousseur was received as a sample.
Posted by Amy Atwood at 4:01 PM