San Jose Merc Notes No Oak Trend in Winemaking
I’m heartened by the fact that more and more wine writers are talking about wines with little or no oak. I like wines aged in oak. But the trend of soaking a wine in oak really took over the wine industry over the past decade. There have even been reports of some wineries using "200 Percent" oak. What that means is they put the wine in brand new oak to age for a few months, then they rack the wine out of those new oak barrels and put it in new new oak barrels.
Laurie Daniel, the long time wine writer for the San Jose Mercury News has a column about the good and bad trends in wine. Laurie is no newbie to wine. One of the trends she speaks of happily is " Increasing numbers of unoaked chardonnay, and more judicious use of oak in many other wines." She’s right. And more and more writers are noticing it and appreciating it.
One of our clients at Wark Communications now produces three unoaked wines. Mayo Family Winery simply can’t keep their unoaked Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in stock and they will soon release a new unoaked Pinot Gris. They also produce a Chardonnay that does undergo barrel fermentation and oak aging under the notion that they should offer different flavors for different tastes.
Daniels is not the first writer to note this trend and I doubt she will be the last.