Hand vs. Machine Harvesting with Viognier (2015)

Stephen Barnard

Keswick Vineyards

Summary:

            Viognier was harvested from a single block. It was harvested partially by hand (control) and partially by machine (trial). Once harvested and brought to the winery, the two lots were processed, fermented, racked, and treated separately but identically.

 

Lab Results:

 

Sensory Results:

There was a significant difference (p<0.05) between the Control (hand harvested) and Trial (machine harvested). Of those that correctly identified the difference between trial and control (n=23) 17.4% preferred the control and 69.6% preferred the trial, and 13% had no preference.

 

Descriptive Analysis:

Control 

Appearance: 

Golden yellow with slight orange/brown. Slightly hazy. CO2. 

 

Aroma: 

Concentrated, sweet, honey, cooked lemon/honey, yellow flavors, pollen, slight reduction, jam, some evolution/oxidation, faded flowers, over ripe fruit, acetaldehyde, seems late harvest. 

 

Taste:

Spritzy, alcohol burning, concentrated flavors but some evolved, nutty aldehydic notes. Light structure, watery. Honey candy. Short. Stale/oxidized. 

 

Overall: 

Oxidized Viognier - color, aromas, flavors. Light body, burning alcohol. 

 

Trial  

Appearance

Gold, copper, brown/pink, yellow - less brown but a bit more pink. CO2. 

 

Aroma: 

Estery, candy, Juicy Fruit, floral, less concentrated aromas, more volatile, oak, vanilla, cream, honey, some bruised apple but not as much as Control, fresher, peach, apricot jam, hay. 

 

Taste: 

Spritzy and less viscous. Somewhat higher acidty. Fresh, bright, tart, lively. Longer. Light in flavors. Less volume. Some bruised apple flavor. Light in body. 

 

Overall: 

Seems fresher with less oxidation. Seems more acidic and with less volume than Control

 

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