What is Chaptalization?

Developed by (and named for) French chemist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal, chaptalization is the process of adding sugar to unfermented grape juice to increase the alcohol percentage post-fermentation.  The added sugar is consumed by the yeasts and converted into alcohol. Chaptalization as a process does not increase the sweetness of the…

What is a Hectare?

If you’ve geeked out at a wine tasting room, wine bar, or local wine shop, you may have come across the term hectare in conversation about the land the grapes were grown on, but what exactly is a hectare? A hectare is a unit of measurement used by…

Open & Closed Wine

More than just pulling the cork out and shoving it back in, open and closed in regards to wine are important terms for describing your experience with the juice. You’ve most likely heard the term “letting the wine open up” at some point in your wine journey.  Opening…

What is Terroir?

There is no single word in the english language that can be translated from terroir.  So what exactly is terroir? Terroir is a beautiful word to describe essentially the essence of a particular piece of land.  More than just the piece of land itself, but also its climate…

What is Botrytis?

Ever heard of Botrytis?  Botrytized Wine? How about Tokaji, Tokay, or Sauternes? Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese? All of these words on a wine label indicate that the wine was made from grapes hosting a fungus by the name of Botrytis cinerea.  Usually when we hear about fungus on our…

The Invention of Wine

While it wasn’t until the excavation of the Areni-1 winery in Armenia (2007-2010) that we found the earliest evidence of wine production which dates to 4100 BC, the actual true date of the invention of wine has yet to be pinpointed as of yet.  There is evidence reaching…

It’s National Sangria Day!

A (brief) history of modern day sangria: The desirable beverage’s history stretches far back into the tomes of history, most likely in the Greek or Roman times to a wine-based beverage by the name of Hippocras.  It was often times served warm and could be the origin of…

Mulled Wine Time!

Mulled Wine (Glögi, Glühwein) is a warm, spiced wine beverage thought to date back to Greek or Roman times called Hippocras.  In modern times the beverage goes back to the Scandinavian Glögi, a spiced liquor that was used to warm messengers and travellers in the cold winter months…

Residual Sugar in Wine

You may have heard the terms Bone Dry, Dry, Off-Dry, Sweet, and Very Sweet as descriptions for wines before.  But what does it mean? In the wine world, sweetness is graded based upon grams per liter of juice, or g/L.  Here is our handy guide to understanding what…

Cabernet Franc

Happy Cabernet Franc Day! And it couldn’t be at a better time of the year.  Nothing sounds better than cozying up by the fireplace with a delicious glass of Cab Franc to help keep you warm. Cabernet Franc in the new world has an association with big heavy…