jamie goode's wine blog: Sauvignon in Styria, day 3

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sauvignon in Styria, day 3

Right now, I'd kill for a red wine. Day three of the worldsauvignon congress has been brilliant, but there's only so much Sauvignon a boy can take.

Some really good stuff today. Highlights for me were three rather technical papers. The first was Denis Dubourdieu's excellent talk on thiols in Sauvignon Blanc. He's a bit of a wine science legend, and a really nice guy to boot. Had a couple of nice chats with him today.

Matt Goddard, a Brit who has relocated to the University of Auckland, has been doing some great work on identifying the yeasts involved in spontaneous ferments, and has discovered that if you inoculate with specific Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains plus Pichia kluyveri (a wild yeast) you get really interesting wines. Specifically for Sauvignon, there's a synergistic interaction in terms of thiol production.

Also from kiwiland, Chris Winefield presented another excellent paper looking at thiol precursors. Really good science unpacking the GLV (green leaf volatile) pathway in vines. Not for everyone, but I found it gripping.

Then there was a panel tasting looking at the ageing potential of Sauvignon Blanc. If the conclusion of our clones panel was that it's a bit of a non-issue, then the conclusion of this panel was don't bother ageing Sauvignon Blanc. [Maybe I'm being a bit naughty here.] I just loved the typo in Jean-Christoph Bourgeois' name (pictured).

Then this afternoon, there were several topical excursions to the Styrian wine regions. Mine was titled 'The culinary side of life: typically Stryrian'. We went to a castle, tasted some Sauvignon Blanc, and tried some ham. Then we had dinner. It was jolly, and I was with a nice group, but it was a little short on the culinary side. Pictured at the top is a view from the castle, and also the tasting we had.

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