Ask about wine

This space was created for you to ask about all that you ever wanted to know about wine but never dared to ask or had no chance to do that. It doesn’t matter if it’s too simple or not technical enough. If you are curious about some aspects, we will try to clear it up for you. The aim is to learn about the wine world and enjoy it more and more everyday without being afraid of not knowing enough.

Send your questions to, via twitter (@vinopediatv) or our website in facebook.

These are just some of the possible doubts you might have, but now it’s your turn! Go on and ask about everything that you never dared to!

14 JUL 2011

Carlos Andres Caicedo nos pregunta a través de Facebook lo siguiente:

What is a 'terroir wine'?
The terroir is the combination of factors in a given area, i.e., soil, location and climatic conditions of a vineyard. Therefore a terroir wine would be one that has been made only with grapes that have been grown in the same terroir. Take a look at this article which also talks about this subject. I hope it helps!! All the best,
08 JUN 2011

Ferris Codina nos pregunta a través de Facebook lo siguiente:

If you want to make a wine from three varieties, fermentation will have to be done separately right? When are they blended to obtain the wine we want? Where I can get information on the approximate dates of harvest for each variety?
There are times when they are harvested all at once, and indeed in the old vineyards, several varieties were planted and all were harvested at the same time. But it is true that when the varieties planted have very different ripening dates, it is best to harvest each at their optimum moment, ferment them separately and then blend together the fermented wines as you can see in this episode. The harvest date depends on the area ofcultivation, the mesoclimatic characteristics of the plot in question, the weather that particular year and the varieties.
10 MAY 2011

Miguel Ángel nos pregunta lo siguiente:

I understand that malolactic fermentation needs a heat input, would it be better to provide heat for each barrel (individually) or for the room where the barrels are?
Hello Miguel Ángel. It really is indifferent, but better to heat the entire room and even better still, if you do not add heat but keep the heat in, allowing malolactic fermentation to develop naturally. Regards!
06 MAY 2011
What is the optimum temperature for malolactic fermentation?
Ideally between 18 and 24 degrees.
27 ABR 2011

Miguel Ángel nos pregunta lo siguiente:

The lack of rain this summer is producing drought stress, because I think the rainfall until June was no more than 350 l / m2 and in July and August it was 6 liters / m2. I have seen vines with "dry" leaves at present. How will wine quality be affected if it does not rain, is rain beneficial at this time?
The truth is that it has not been an extremely hot summer, but a very dry one. Water availability for plants depends on the type of soil, whether it is possible to water them, either because of water availability, or if legislation permits, the volume of soil explored, etc. You will have seen vines with dry leaves on shallow soils with low water retention capacity, etc. Defoliation has increased in recent weeks, when the maximum temperatures and wind have increased evapotranspiration and reduced even more, if possible, in some plots, the water available in the soil for the plant. As to whether rain these days would be beneficial..., it is very difficult to generalize, it depends on each plot, variety, state of the vines, the degree of ripening, both technological and phenolic, time remaining to harvest, the amount of rain. A priori, rainfall of 8-10 l / m2 should not be harmful because it would reduce the risk of defoliation and ensure the photosynthetic activity of the vines, essential to complete ripening. If excessive rain occurs there is a risk of worsening the quality of the grapes, due to the effect of dilution and the increased risk of diseases such as botrytis or acid rot. Jose Manuel,
27 ABR 2011

Miguel Ángel nos pregunta lo siguiente:

What are the advantages / disadvantages of choosing a tank where the height and the diameter match? What is your opinion regarding the entry of diffused natural light in an aging room ?
According to our winemaker, Raúl Acha, the tanks with the characteristics you mention are better as maceration is better with a thinner cap. As regards the light, better that there is none, but if it is diffused and not much, nothing will happen. Thanks for following us!!
18 MAR 2011

Javier García-Miguel Aguirre nos pregunta lo siguiente:

What is aging on lees ? Is it for whites (and sparkling) wines only, or can it be applied to red? What are the differences with the traditional barrel aging? I have tried some albariño on lees and I like it more than any other whites aged in oak barrels.
Aging on lees consists of keeping the fine lees in suspension after fermentation ends. These fine lees tend to settle, so there are q q do something to keep them suspended, stirring batonage, nitrogen or whatever. Lees are mainly yeast cell walls from which polysaccharides and mannoproteins are extracted giving the wine body and sweetness. It is applied mainly to whites but can be applied to reds too between alcoholic and malolactic fermentation and it is usually done during malolactic fermentation of the wines in the barrel.
14 JUN 2010

Jorge Elian nos pregunta lo siguiente:

What is the definition of a crianza, reserva, gran reserva and reserva especial and who decides it?
The classification of wines into crianza, reserva and gran reserva categories is something very typical of Spain. The first denomination to use these categories was Rioja and as a result other areas of Spain have copied this model, although some denominations have less demanding time periods for the different categories. Rioja has the following requirements: Crianza: Is a wine that has aged for over 2 years, where at least 12 months have been in barrel. Reserva: Is a wine aged in barrel and bottle for over 3 years, where at least one of them has been in barrel. Gran Reserva: Is a wine that has aged for over 2 years in barrel and over 3 years in bottle. Reserva Especial…: These types of names are commercial; they do not correspond to any category and therefore are not regulated by anybody. The Regulation Council is who controls the previously mentioned time periods. Once these time periods are met, wineries may decide or not to indicate these categories on their wine.
14 JUN 2010

Jorge Elian nos pregunta lo siguiente:

What are the equivalent definitions of the aforementioned (crianza, reserva, etc.) in other countries?
Other countries do not have equivalent classifications, except for Italy in some cases.
14 JUN 2010

Jorge Elian nos pregunta lo siguiente:

Why are some wines aged in bottle (such as some of the French wines) and others are not?
There are wines capable of ageing in bottle and others that are not. This mainly depends on if the wine has been made focusing on ageing or its consumption as a young wine. A wine that ages well is mainly due to its higher acidity level and its greater amount of tannins; in addition, they are usually wines that have aged for some period of time in barrel.
13 JUN 2010

José María nos pregunta lo siguiente:

Firstly, I would like to congratulate you for the courage taken in carrying out this initiative. It is great to be able to discover so many interesting things with such ease and in such an enjoying way. Let’s see, I have a vineyard that I started to grow last year and I am following the trellis system. Some of the vines have already exceeded two meters in height in their first year (protection is used). This year, during winter pruning, they have all been pruned and two buds have been left… They have reached a significant height again and I would like to know if I should carry out green pruning and any other actions to be followed. Your answer would be of great help to me.  Thanks in advance, my best regards.
Hello! Surely, other buds have appeared in addition to those you left on the spur. Therefore, green pruning should be carried out, eliminating the green shoots that are not suitable and tying the straightest green shoot to the stake and/or wire support. This green shoot will be useful in the future in order to form the trunk and arm/s. In addition to this green shoot, leaving one or two extra as a reserve is recommended in case the main green shoot breaks (wind, machinery, etc.) As it seems, you have considerably vigorous vines, and presuming that your aim is to carry out a double cordón royat, you should tip the green shoot chosen as the future trunk, above the wire support, in order to force the budding of shoots and therefore be able to form arms from these. I hope we have been able to help you. If we can provide you with further information, please let us know.
07 JUN 2010

Alejandro Pacheco nos pregunta lo siguiente:

Hello, I have just bought some Cabernet Sauvignon vines; they are still small-sized. I would like to know how to form them, what should I cut, when, and how should I guide them during growing? How do I get two spurs? Now, they are just a trunk with some vegetation. I hope you can help me. Thank you.
You should grow the vine until it withers and it gets rid of the autumn leaves. Until then, what you should do is take good care of it, protect it from fungal diseases, water it and, if necessary, fertilise it moderately. In winter, when the green shoots become vine shoots you can write us again and we will show you how to prune it.
08 MAY 2010
How come 2 wines canbe totally different, even a rose and a red one, if they were elaborated 100% from the same grape variety?
One of the reasons for that is that the colour of the wine depends on the grape skin; depending on how long the skins stay in contact with the must we could control the colour that the wine acquires. Other important aspects are the origin of the grape, the fermentation temperature etc.
08 MAY 2010
Is it possible to make white wine from red grapes?
Basically for the reason we explained in the previous question. The grape pulp is colourless, so if we use soft-pressing and the must is not in contact with the grape skins, we obtain a white must. What really gives the colour is the grape skin.
08 MAY 2010
Why do we always talk about French or American oak barrels? What makes the difference?
These are two different kinds of oak and therefore the wood is very different with different qualities and wine aromas. The barrels are also different. The staves (individual strips of wood which form the barrel) in American oak, are sawn from the trunk, rather than split, while in the French oak the staves are jointed and temporarily hooped at one end to form an open cone shape. It’s because French oak has more porosity and if it was sawn, the wine would leak.
08 MAY 2010
What does Crianza mean?
Crianza is the wine barrel aging process. Some Denominations of Origin set this term as a wine category, for example in the case of Rioja, crianza is a 2 year old wine that stays at least one in the barrel.
08 MAY 2010
What is Syrah?
Syrah is a red grape variety cultivated mostly in the Rhone Valley. Its origins are not well known, some set it in the Near East, due to it’s similarity to the word Syria.