Making Delicious Wine: The Art and Science of Infusing Music
Though there are a few Italian wineries that believe blaring loud speaker music onto their vineyards improves their vines’ growing cycle. Science, however, points to the fermentation stages of a wine’s development as the better target where music can impact the beauty, finesse, smoothness and quality of the finished wine.
Yeast, Grapes, Biochemistry, and the Magic of Music!
The role of yeast in the winemaking fermentation process is certainly the most critical element which distinguishes a grape’s transformation, or as the French call it, “élevage” (the progression of wine between fermentation and bottling known as a wine’s adolescence or breeding). Fermentation is a complex biochemical reaction in which yeast consumes sugar in the grape juice (must) and releases alcohol and carbon dioxide. It determines the future quality of wine and occurs shortly after harvest. Fermentation can take anywhere from four to eight days for red Bordeaux style wines, and as long as several months for Burgundian style white wines.
When classical music is introduced during the yeast’s élevage period, it interacts with the microorganisms and enlightens their magical elements, truly bringing them to life. Music is channeled in through a Pioneer Elite surround sound system with THX throughout the Winery. The increased yeast activity translates into fuller-bodied wines with deeper complexity of flavors.
“I can sense and taste Chopin, Borodin, Mozart, and Ravel’s Bolero effects on the wine’s development. Serenading the yeast’s activities encourages far better microscopic single-cell conversion involvement in our fermentation tanks. The rhythm and harmonious sounds seem to maintain a much more constant fermentation temperature allowing our wines to ‘open up’ fully.”
-Igor Sill, Winemaker at Sill Family Vineyards
The systematic arrangement of these rhythms exhibit perfection of elegant construction, exquisite detail, and harmonious finish which propels the yeasts’ passion for their tasks, converting sugar into alcohol. Music is played for 4 hours per day, each and every day, then restful peace fulfills the remaining hours.
“I have come to realize that wondrous music during the winemaking process provides both, our wines and myself, with an undeniably profound sense of serenity, calm and tranquility while allowing the wine to exhibit its unique expression of personality.” Says Sill.
In art, music and life — and yes, wine — it is the simplest of details that can bear extraordinarily exceptional results.