Using Oak Adjuncts and Micro-Oxygenation 
Three winemakers to show how they make wine without barrels  

Santa Rosa, Calif.— Using oak adjuncts in non-oak vessels is common for maturing “California AVA” wines, but how many winemakers admit to using this approach on first-class fruit from the Russian River, Alexander Valley or El Dorado County? Not many.

Three winemakers who do “raise” new wines made from high-quality fruit without oak barrels will step forward at the Wines & Vines Oak Conference on April 26 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds to explain how and why they do it. [Read More]

Conference Features How-to Content on Oak 
Sessions on Pinot Noir and red barrel fermentation highlight April 26 event in Sonoma County 


Santa Rosa, Calif.— For its Sonoma County debut, the Wines & Vines Oak Conference has doubled down on practical, how-to content including an expanded set of trials tastings that will focus on Pinot Noir and oak, barrel-fermented reds and oak barrel alternatives.

The one-day trade show and conference happening April 26 in Santa Rosa is designed to bring together winemakers, production managers and cellar staff from California’s North Coast and beyond. After two years in Napa Valley, the event is moving to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. [Read More]

Focus on Oak in Winemaking 
April 26 conference incorporates cellar operations and new winemaking products  


Santa Rosa, Calif.— Making full use of a larger venue, the third annual Wines & Vines Oak Conference will feature content and technical tastings exploring the world of oak and other elements of winemaking.

Taking place April 26 at the new Saralee & Richard’s Barn event center and the adjacent Finley Hall at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, the conference will begin with an overview of recent research about the variation in sensory compounds and tannin among oak trees as well as how to best prevent and control Brettanomyces in barrels. [Read More]

Oak Conference Moves to Sonoma County  
April 26 event for winemakers has larger venue, expanded content 


Santa Rosa, Calif.— The Wines & Vines Oak Conference will move to a spacious new location at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on April 26, enabling more trials tastings, more fine-tuned sessions content and a larger trade show. The theme for the third annual event is “Elevating Your Wine & Cellar.” 

The new venue at the Fairgrounds’ Event Center in Santa Rosa will give attendees and exhibitors extra elbow room and more convenient parking as well as the flexibility for a more diverse and technical program of topics and speakers. Registration is now open at [Read More]

Winemaker to Quiz Coopers About Oak 
Jeff Cohn to moderate panel discussion about oak pricing, supply and other trends 


St. Helena, Calif.— Winemakers know their favorite barrels, but they may find the intricacies of the oak timber market, cooperage innovations and quality control a little less clear. At the upcoming Wines & Vines Oak Conference on April 27, winemaker Jeff Cohn will seek to pull back the curtain on the oak industry with three veteran coopers. “It’s science, but it’s not rocket science,” Cohn said of the barrel trade. “I want it to be interesting, and I want it to be fun.” [Read More]

Winery Trials by HdV, Pride and Others Explore Oak Effects 
Oak suppliers to present trial wines during walk-around tasting at April 27 conference 


St. Helena, Calif.— Winemakers will have numerous opportunities to taste wines made using unique oak products and aging strategies during the upcoming Wines & Vines Oak Conference. Taking place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, the second annual conference will feature in-depth presentations about the use of oak as well as several technical tastings. [Read More]

Celia Welch: What Could Go Wrong With Barrels? 
Napa Valley consulting winemaker to share her experiences at oak conference April 27 


St. Helena, Calif.— As a winemaker in the Napa Valley since the 1980s, Celia Welch remembers some early oak experiments that worked out, along with some that didn’t. Like the time she reconditioned some barrels by having the interiors scraped and retoasted. The wines she then matured in them turned out to have vague aromas of propane that just wouldn’t go away. [Read More]

Learn How to Protect Your Oak Investment 
Master cooper Quinn Roberts and barrel facility owner Mike Blom to speak at Oak Conference April 27 


St. Helena, Calif.— Master cooper Quinn Roberts will be one of the oak experts discussing proper barrel care and maintenance as well as conducting live demonstrations at the upcoming Wines & Vines Oak Conference on April 27. St. Helena, Calif.—Two men who spend every working day making, managing, repairing or maintaining barrels will lead a session on “Protecting Your Oak Investment” at the Wines & Vines Oak Conference on April 27. [Read More]

Know Your Sensitivity to Oak in Wine 
Master of Wine Tim Hanni plans tasting session for winemakers at April 27 oak conference 


St. Helena, Calif.—How much do individuals’ sensory sensitivities influence their perception and preferences for oak phenolics and aromatics in wine? It’s an important question for winemakers to answer before they make decisions about oak regimens for their wines, according to Tim Hanni, Master of Wine [Read More]

Conduct Better Seven-Day Oak Trials 
One of many practical sessions at oak conference April 27  


St. Helena, Calif.—Two Ph.D. researchers will present new work about seven-day winery oak trials at the Wines & Vines Oak Conference on April 27. Jeff McCord and Jeff Murrell of StaVin have been studying methods for more reliable bench trials with oak adjuncts, and they will share their findings during the one-day conference and focused trade show at the historic Culinary Institute of America, Greystone, in St. Helena. [Read More]

Oak Conference Speakers Announced
Jeff Cohn

San Rafael, Calif.—One of Napa Valley’s most sought-after consulting winemakers, Celia Welch, and a Rhone wine varietal specialist who is a walking encyclopedia of barrel knowledge, Jeff Cohn, will be featured speakers at the second annual Wines & Vines Oak Conference. [Read More]

New Venue Announced for Wines & Vines Oak Conference Greystone

San Rafael, Calif.—After a highly successful first year, the Wines & Vines Oak Conference will return to the Napa Valley on April 27, 2016. This year’s conference will be held at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in St. Helena and will include coffee, lunch, numerous conference sessions and a trade show with 36 exhibitors who supply oak and cellar products. [Read More]


Blind-Tasting a Mini-Stave Trial


Napa, Calif.—Winemakers attending the Wines & Vines Oak Conference on Feb. 11, 2015 had an unusual opportunity to blind-taste winery trials utilizing oak barrel alternatives in young wines from Sonoma County and Napa Valley, Calif. Presenting the tasting were Eglantine Chauffour, winemaker for Enartis Vinquiry, and Victoria Wilson, assistant winemaker for Wilson Artisan Wineries.
After an introduction by Chauffour, who summarized the components [
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