The 1WineDude-ificaion Of Wine Business Monthly

Vinted on November 26, 2013 binned in going pro, wine publications

All your wine media are belong to us!” And you thought you were safe from me in the wine print world, didn’t you? Not so fast, jerky!

One of the wine biz print publications that is isn’t going totally broke (and in fact appears to be going strong as both an on- and off-line force in wine media) is Wine Business Monthly.  I’m happy to report that I’ve got an article in this month’s issue, sexily titled “Concrete Vat Innovation in Argentina: New troncoconic concrete vat design said to give wine more character and rounder mouthfeel.”

I can just feel your nipples hardening at the mere mention of trococonic vats!

Okay, not really.

But for a lot of people making wine, this kind of tech innovation is a fun (though very geeky-technical) read. Anyway, I’m happy to have had an opportunity to contribute to WBM, and it was fun trying to surreptitiously inject my gonzo style ever so slightly into a piece of technical writing.

The idea for the article had a circuitous route to my conscious brain. After judging in the 2013 Argentina Wine Awards, I had the pleasure of re-visiting Zuccardi‘s estate, and catching up with the affable Sebastián Zuccardi (a fellow judge at the Awards, and one of the winemaking sons of Director José Alberto Zuccardi).

During our tour, after marveling at the nigh-endless stream of trucks delivering grapes to fuel their massive operation, I asked Sebastián if we could get an update on their experimental winery-within-a-winery that I’d first seen back in 2011. Sebastián was pretty eager – and all smiles – in showing me what they’d been up to there over the two years since I first visited (but then, Sebastián is pretty eager and all smiles about most things).

Turns out that Zuccardi had been pretty busy little innovators in that interim, during which they’d been perfecting the design on new concrete vats that Sebastián is convinced greatly improve the mouthfeel of some of their wines. I’m inclined to agree, having tasted the promising results. I took some notes, snapped a few pictures, and asked the WBM editors if they were interested, which they were.

To find out more about the Zuccardi’s long-standing love affair with concrete, and to get your winemaking geek on, go read the WBM article!






  • gabe

    There's a handful of wineries using concrete in the WIllamette, including Division Winemaking Co. and Fausse Piste. But the new cool thing out here is amphora….

    • 1WineDude

      gabe – Yeah, I'm not sold on amphora yet… but happy to have opportunities to be convinced!

  • gabe

    Good point…there's a lot of talk right now, but i haven't tasted anything special made in amphora yet…kind of like orange wine. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.

    • 1WineDude

      Gabe, exactly. I keep waiting for the orange wine that makes me think Wow! instead of either Huh? or OK, that’s interesting but I don’t want to finish it.

  • Eric V. Orange

    Nice work Joe. Good on ya mate.
    Happy T-day also.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Eric. Youuuuuuuu… are the man. Happy Turkey day!

  • Bob Henry


    A preface: let's define our terms.

    Excerpt: "The process of micro-oxygenation aims to mimic the effects of slow barrel maturation in a shorter period or for lower cost."

    [Footnote citing: J. Robinson (ed) "The Oxford Companion to Wine" Third Edition pg 442-443 Oxford University Press 2006 ISBN 0-19-860990-6]

    If I might make a follow-up investigation regarding Zuccardi's statement:

    "“The micro-oxygenation that occurs through the pores of the wall is important for the life of the microorganisms that make the fermentation, as well as being important for various chemical reactions, such as the stabilization
    of the color and the polymerization of tannins. For this reason we do not use epoxy since it is a resin that seals the pores,” he added.

    Throw this question out to your readers who are (1) coopers, (2) winemakers, and (3) enology professors:

    "Which fermentation vessel better lends itself to micro-oxygenation — oak barrels or concrete vats?"

    Michel Rolland was mocked in the movie "Mondovino" over his espousing micro-oxygenation:

    Here's a UC Davis enology professor you can query who is researching the subject:

    Dr. Andrew L. Waterhouse


    Bio: "Dr. Waterhouse is an internationally recognized wine chemist. His research activity focuses on the chemistry of a class of natural phytochemicals called phenolic compounds; addressing two types of effects: those that are important to the taste of wine and those that relate to health effects on wine consumers. In both cases, his laboratory collaborates with others who can help utilize the data and assisting in our understanding of these compounds. In the area of wine quality, his current interest is in the effect of oxidation on wine chemistry and how this oxidation affects important quality parameters of wine, such as taste and color. HE HAS BEEN STUDYING MICRO-OXYGENATIN AND ITS EFFECT ON WINE COLOR AND TANNINS. IN GENERAL, THE EFFECTS THEY ARE SEEING ARE SMALL, BUT WITH HIGHER LEVELS OF OXYGEN THEY ARE SEEING SIGNIFICANT CHANGES. [ CAPITALIZATION used for emphasis. — Bob] He is currently testing some new theories on wine oxidation chemistry. Dr. Waterhouse is also participating in the development of general analytical methodology of interest in wine analysis and has a variety of methods published in this area."

    His e-mail address: [email protected]

    Invite him into a Socratic debate.

    ~~ Bob

    • 1WineDude

      Bob, there’s a potential geeky can of worms we could open up there…

      • Bob Henry

        . . . so put on you Pacific Northwest hip waders, my friend, and cast about for some responses !

        • 1WineDude

          Bob, easy for you to say! ;-)

  • Bob Henry



    If I might make a SUGGESTION ON A follow-up investigation regarding Zuccardi's statement:

    ~~ Bob

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