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Wine Blending Basics
June 1st, 2014
Peggy Fiandaca

You will rarely and perhaps never drink a wine that has not been blended in some way.

It may be as simple as combining the same varietal wine from several barrels or tanks or going through a painstaking process of experimenting with numerous varietals from dozens of different types of barrels.

After many months or perhaps years of waiting, blending is one of the last acts of the winemaker when preparing to bottle a finished product.
   Curt Dunham, Winemaker

First some basics. A wine can be called by its dominant grape-type if it is at least 75% of that varietal. For instance, a wine can be called Petite Sirah if is 100% that grape or 77% with 23% Grenache. Add just 3% more Grenache and you now have a Red Table Wine which many think of as a “blend.” In any case, the blending process is equally important.

 Blending at Lawrence Dunham Vineyards
  The initial decision that needs to be made when undertaking the blending process is key. Is the wine being made focused on showcasing a varietal or is the goal to just make a tasty, drinkable wine?

This is determined after evaluating many samples to find out what flavors, aromas, and colors you have to work with.

A successful blending process is a result of trial and error to get just the right combination of fruit and oak desired by the winemaker.

Often, the winemaker will pull together several options and convene a tasting panel of trusted palettes to evaluate and provide feedback before the final blend is determined. Many of Lawrence Dunham Vineyards’ club members have participated on these tasting panels. However, Curt Dunham, winemaker makes the final decision. Once the blend is finalized and blending occurs, there is no turning back!

If you would like to learn more about blending register for the upcoming wine blending workshop with the winemaker at the winery in Pearce on Saturday June 7th at 11:00 AM. Registration is required at 602-320-1485 or send us an email . $35.00 also includes BBQ lunch.
Wine Blending Workshop flier is available at this link
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