Research to be done: “Effect of yeast contact time on the flavour profile and quality of Méthode Cap Classique.”

Very exciting news is that Winetech has finally given priority on the following topic which will be funded for two years. Hopefully this will be accepted by the end of July 2012 and introduced in March 2013. The project leader for this work will be done by Dr Neil Jolly. We will kindly be inviting up to six wineries to participate. In consideration of one of the aims of the Association to eventually aim to have a two tier system I think this will help to substantiate the aim of this research, very exciting.  Please see below the extract of the study:

“Effect of yeast contact time on the flavour profile and quality of Méthode Cap Classique.”

A two tier system (twelve month and 24 month) is being implemented for South African bottled fermented sparkling wine (Méthode Cap Classique). However, very little scientific data is available to support this classification.  This research topic has been given a high priority (level 1) by the Winetech Vinification Technology Committee. The objective of the project will be to collaborate with the Cap Classique Producers Association and specific Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) producers e.g. Graham Beck, in microbial, chemical and sensory monitoring and analyses of Chardonnay and Pinot noir MCC wines to confirm anecdotal evidence and give scientific support to legislation.

 The following requirement and commitment will be needed to participate form a member.

Six batches of commercial MCC wines will be identified in collaboration with the CCPA, three Chardonnays and three Pinot noirs. The Chardonnay wine will be 100% Chardonnay, but the Pinot noir may be a blend. The blends (cultivar and percentage) will be the same for the three batches wines as very few 100% Pinot noir MCC are produced in South Africa. The statistical design for the project can accept three participating cellars, each providing a Chardonnay as well as a Pinot noir, or six cellars providing one wine each.  Each batch will comprise of 72 individual bottles (yeast intact). The yeast used in all the wines will be the same industry standard.

Analyses will take place at 12 intervals. The first will be at eight months after bottling to provide a base measurement. Thereafter analyses will take place at nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 21, 23 24 and 25 months. At each analysis interval five bottles will be obtained from the participating cellars. Three will be used for microbial and chemical analyses, one for sensory analyses and the remaining bottle will serve as a back-up. Where logistically possible, the bottles will be removed in a randomised manner. A second vintage will be evaluated in a similar manner to reduce vintage effects.

Sensory analyses will be performed on the wines with an expert panel from industry (representatives and/or winemakers belonging to the CCPA). Two ARC project team members will also form part of the sensory panel. Analyses will be by descriptive sensory analyses, followed by a panel discussion.

Should any one of you be interested in being part of the project and research please let me know so I could let Neil Jolly have the details of the wineries/cellars that would like to be involved. An outline of his research will be discussed at our up and coming technical day. Remember that you are required to sponsor 72 bottles at no charge and be able to get the wines to Nietvoorbji in Stellenbosch.

More information will follow shortly or as it becomes available. Please let me know if you are interested