A typical bottle of Napa Cabernet owes more to lab-coat-wearing chemists than to barefoot grape stompers. Here’s a look at the secret ingredients and behind-the-scenes manipulation that go into crafting the perfect pour.
Wired has a good piece today on Paul Draper’s quest to pressure other winemakers to list all the ingredients on their labels. Among other reasons, doing so, the industry fears, will take the romantic luster out of their products. But that’s not the link I’m posting on top of this page.
As much as I’ve been reading (and trying the wines) of the In Pursuit of Balance group – who avoid many of the ingredients that would appear on the labels of mass-produced wines – I’ve never really taken the time to study the logistics of making wine at bigger operations.
But Wired was smart and keyed to this piece I missed back in April that I’m now sharing with you. It’s a good infochart that breaks down the increasing wine consumption numbers, along with the additives and other tricks that go into wine making.
But as noted in the Draper article:
“For thousands of years, wine has made itself with guidance by man, rather than being made by man,” says Draper. The greatness of a wine should be driven by the grapes and the earth they come from, not what a tinkerer can do with them in the lab.
History has his back. In Bordeaux, vigneron is the term for a grape cultivator, the man who works the fields and tends the vines. But, notes Draper, “In French, there is no word for winemaker.”