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Happenings at 4.0 Cellars

Carl Hudson
 
February 27, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Popular Wine Myths Debunked – Part 1

In the 4.0 Cellars tasting room, one often hears comments about wine from customers that tend to fall into the categories of myths, misconceptions, and sometimes just plain quackery. Because wine can be a technically challenging topic, and sometimes downright confusing, a recent article in WineMaker magazine prompted me to address some of these myths. This is Part 1. Part 2 will follow.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
February 11, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Vine Pruning, February, 2020

Now that the new year has arrived, it is time to plan the vineyard pruning effort as spring approaches. Along US 290, one can see that pruning has started in many vineyards. And, there are posts and videos on FaceBook and Utube addressing the subject of vine pruning. But, I wanted to approach this subject in my own way for this Carl’s Corner post. Starting my 17th season of vine pruning, I’ve decided to share my approach in this updated Carl’s Corner post. During your next visit to 4.0 Cellars, you are invited to wander out to the 4.0 Cellars “Pet Vineyard” to take a look at the Black Spanish vines either before or after pruning starts.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
January 16, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Acidity in Wine – Part 2 in the Winery

Acidity is very important to the taste, color, and stability of wines. Too little acidity produces flat & uninteresting wines, while too much acidity leads to harsh, tart wines. Acidity not only influences the taste of wine, but also the fermentation process, stability of color and proteins, and resistance to spoilage mechanisms. Part 1 on acidity focused on acid compounds as they are created in the vineyard, migrate to the grapes, and are impacted by various degradation mechanisms that reduce acidity as grapes ripen and are harvested. This Part 2 edition will focus on acidity as it impacts fermentation, aging, and quality in the finished wine.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
January 4, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Acidity in Wine – Part 1 in the Vineyard

First of all, Happy New Year to all of you. I’ve just been sitting here thinking about topics for 2020, and decided to start off with a post on how important acidity is in wines. This was a key topic for a presentation and tasting at the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association Grape Camp last November in Fredericksburg. Acidity is very important to the taste, color, and stability of wines. Too little acidity produces flat & uninteresting wines, while too much acidity leads to harsh, tart wines. Acidity not only influences the taste of wine, but also the fermentation process, stability of color and proteins, and enhances stability against spoilage mechanisms. This Part 1 edition of Carl’s Corner will focus on acid compounds as they are created in the vineyard, and migrate to the grapes that will eventually be harvested and become wine. A Part 2 edition will focus on acidity in the winery as it impacts fermentation, aging, and the finished wine.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
December 18, 2019 | Carl Hudson

End of the Year 2019

This will be the last Carl’s Corner for this year, and I would like to reflect on the topics covered during 2019. In January, a post on Port Style Wines highlighted the various types of Port wines and the newly released 4.0 Cellars Portejas, This delicious wine was produced from Black Spanish grapes grown in the show vineyard in front of the tasting room, coupled with Ruby Cabernet wine from Brennan Vineyards. The second post in January covered the use and impact of Oak Barrels & Oak Alternatives on the wines that we enjoy. The Texas Hill Country Wineries Annual Symposium and Trade Show was held in January at Horseshoe Bay Resort near Marble Falls. What a fun event filled with friends, fun, learning, and, of course, good Texas wine.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
December 4, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Wine Labels – What They Do or Don’t Tell You

A recent article in Wine Enthusiast magazine caught my attention and prompted this Carl’s Corner edition. One of my favorite wine writers, Paul Gregutt, wrote about The Dos and Don’ts of Wine Labels with a focus on what makes a good wine label. I have borrowed liberally from his article with the focus on what is required on a wine label, what would be useful to consumers, and what wineries rarely tell us. So, pour yourself a glass of good Texas wine and grab a few wine bottles to look over their labels as you read further.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
September 11, 2019 | Carl Hudson

What to do with Leftover Wine

What is “leftover” wine? For some, it is hard to imagine such a thing. This is a subject that has been addressed previously, but we still often get questions about it from customers at the 4.0 Cellars tasting room. So, here is my take on Leftover Wine.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 17, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Dirt Can Make Wine Better

After spending time in the vineyard these past two weeks, irrigating, spraying, clearing weeds, and watching the grapes begin to turn from vivid green to soft pink and purple colors (veraison), I began to once again think about the upcoming harvest and the many tasks that will be required to convert these 2019 grapes into a wine and put that wine into a bottle. It is certainly true that the dirt in which the vines are planted plays a role in generating the quantity and quality of the fruit, but there is another type of “dirt” that plays a role in making quality wine. That dirt is an activated clay material (a special kind of dirt) known as bentonite. Bentonite is used in winemaking to clarify wine by attaching to particulate materials and to protein molecules that come from grapes. Bentonite has myriad other uses, including: moisture absorbent in cat litter, thickening agent in drilling muds, binder material in metal casting, water-barrier sealant layers for ponds and landfills, and, with its powerful absorbing properties, a purification & decolorizing agent for numerous liquids, like vegetable oils, dirty water and many beverages.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 3, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Wine Yeast Selection Criteria

One of the most intriguing issues facing a winemaker is the choice of a yeast strain to convert the sugars in sweet grape juice into wine. Simplistically, there are two basic choices – natural or native yeast that is present on the grapes themselves when harvested, or a designed commercial yeast strain. Both types of yeast will convert sugar to alcohol, but the choice of yeast can, and usually does, impact the aroma, flavor, and texture of a wine, as well as the conditions & rate of fermentation.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
May 8, 2019 | Carl Hudson

What does Reserve mean on a wine label?

When a wine is offered for tasting at 4.0 Cellars that includes the word “Reserve” on the label, customers and tasters typically recognize the designation and are curious as to what it means. In the United States, and several other key wine countries (Australia, New Zealand, Chile), the term Reserve has little or no meaning, at least that which is defined. The following explores this issue and will hopefully inform the reader about the term Reserve on a U.S., especially a Texas, wine label.  Continue »