The Grape Debate 2017 - What role does the vessel play?

Winemakers in BC have traditionally used stainless steel and oak barrel vessels in the fermentation and ageing processes. Yet there are two new kids on the block: amphora (clay) and concrete now making their way into local cellars. Each affects the makeup of the wine differently, not only because of the diverse materials but also because they allow varying amounts of oxygen to be exposed to the wine within. Winemakers and experts have their preferences as there are advantages and disadvantages to all types in their cost-effectiveness, insulating properties and space efficiency. But what are their effects on taste and expressions of terroir? Historically, consumers can recognize and appreciate the unique qualities that fermentation in oak can impart to wines, but can they recognize the qualities of the others? Does the vessel play an important role in consumer’s enjoyment of wine?

Recorded January 26, 2017, at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre on UBC's Vancouver campus.


DJ Kearney, BA’84 – Director of Wine,; Wine Educator, Wine Writer, Judge, Presenter & Chef (@djwines)


Darryl Brooker – Chief Winemaker, Mission Hill Family Estate (@MissionHillWine)
Christine Coletta – Co-owner, Okanagan Crush Pad (@Chrisscoletta)
Sid Cross, LLB’62 – Bon Vivant (@winefoodguru)
Tony Holler, BSc’74, MD’79 – Majority Owner & President, Poplar Grove Winery (@poplargrovewine)
Jay Martiniuk, BSFN’11 – Researcher, UBC Wine Research Centre
Sandra Oldfield – CEO/President, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards (@SandraOldfield)
David Scholefield, BA’75 – VP wine strategy + liquid art selections, Trialto Wine Group Ltd. (@TrialtoBC)
Howard Soon, BSc’74 – Master Winemaker, Sandhill Single Vineyard Wine (@SandhillWines)