Pro, Con or no opinion: Sulfuring, Fining, Filtering

Blending trial for 2013 College Cellars Merlot.
My teammate, Fiona, carefully blending Merlot and Malbec dying our blending trial.

It is midterms of my last quarter; five weeks until finals are done and I will graduate with my Enology and Viticulture Certifications!  As we have been working on our red wines from 2013, Stan Clarke Merlot in my case, we have had to make decisions and act on them prior to bottling on the 21st of this month.  This brings me to ask here for your opinions about sulfuring, filtering and fining?  It seems these concepts related to wine are fairly polarizing.  Be frank, this is a no judgement zone, open conversation is what I hope to encourage.

We chose to blend our Merlot with a Malbec (4%) that didn’t go through MLF for a couple of reasons.  This decision was made to enhance the nose and fill out the mouthfeel.  We saw no value in fining the wine because 2013 was a warm year and the fruit came in perfectly ripe and fermented well. Sulfur levels are good to ensure no microbial population growth before we bottle.  On the way into the bottling truck the wine will be finely filtered to ensure stability.  I am comfortable with this; sulfuring, fining and filtering have a place in my winemaking tool box for when they are needed.  We have traveled a few places where the culture is to shun these practices on principle and I wonder what you think about them.


5 thoughts on “Pro, Con or no opinion: Sulfuring, Fining, Filtering

  1. Hi, I am actually a V&E student up at WSU, and I quite enjoy following all of your experiences in the WA wine industry and WWCC program! Its nice to share these aspects of winemaking with everyone, because I don’t think people realize all the behind-the-scenes activity before they buy it in bottle. I for one feel that each wine needs something different, be it all the fining agents, none or somewhere in between. It’s all up to the winemaker 🙂 Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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