Jac Jacobs on KSBY News 

From Grape to Table: The Chemistries of Wine I II III

By Helen Gillespie
featured source: Jac Jacobs

“The location of the vine, whether it is in a cool, foggy area or on a rocky slope or in the sun, affects the speed of ripening and the flavor,” states Jac Jacobs, winemaker for Topolos at Russian River Vineyards (Forestville, CA). “The volume or tonnage of grapes on the vine itself also affects flavor. ‘This is because the sugar levels increase through dehydration. And, if the vine gets too much water or has too much canopy, the flavor is affected.” Read More…


After the harvest, the variables in winemaking that can be manipulated are few. Sugar cannot be added, although acids, grape concentrate, and limited amounts of water can be added to achieve a balance. Fining agents can be used to remove proteins or tannins. “You can give the same grapes to ten different winemakers and you’ll get ten different wines,” says Jac Jacobs, winemaker for Topolos at Russian River Vineyards (Forestville, CA). Read More…

As Jacobs points out ‘When it comes down to it the consumer doesn’t care about the chemistries, just what the wine tastes like.” No matter how well the winemaker or wine lab manager performs the analytical tasks associated with the wine’s chemistry, the consumer has the final say on the result of months-even years-of work. Perhaps this reason alone is why winemaking is as much an art as a science. Read More…

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