Technical Challenges of Packaging

Aug. 19 conference will cover cork taint, total package oxygen and quality control in creative packaging

by Wines & Vines staff
The Wines & Vines Packaging Conference will feature two optional tasting sessions: one about the variation of oxygen during bottling, and the other comparing creative packaging to glass bottles and traditional closures.

Napa, Calif.—Three technical sessions at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 19 will explore the chemical and sensory implications of packaging decisions including cork taint, total package oxygen and the quality control ramifications of screwcaps and kegs. Two of these sessions will include blind tastings, while the third will reveal new data about the state of TCA incidence in natural cork.

Gordon Burns, co-founder of ETS Laboratories in St. Helena, Calif., will speak about “Demystifying Cork Quality Assurance.” He will share data from the Cork Quality Council on trichloroanisole detection, including results in at least two areas that he believes have never before been shared publicly. One area is what underlies the concept of group “soaks” of corks to detect TCA vs. individual soaks, and another is how a group soak relates to the subsequently bottled wine.

“This will answer a lot of questions that people have in their heads—or that they should have in their heads,” Burns told Wines & Vines today. ETS executes the Cork Quality Council’s cork quality assurance program on behalf of natural cork manufacturers, and the lab also helps many individual wineries with their own cork quality testing, so ETS is in a good position to tackle the subject as an objective third party for the conference.

The morning tasting session will cover “Variation in Total Package Oxygen During Bottling,” as presented by Hend Letaief, assistant professor of wine chemistry at California State University, Fresno. She will detail a groundbreaking study that documented wide-ranging oxygen ingress during bottling runs, and registrants will taste how different levels of TPO affect wine quality.

In the afternoon tasting session, winemakers from Oregon and California will present wines that attempt to answer the question, “Does Creative Packaging Preserve Wine Quality?” Two Napa area winemakers—Kate Ayres of The Hess Collection and Juan Jose Verdina of Jamieson Ranch—will pour kegged vs. bottled wines and discuss how their preparations and wine chemistry may differ. Thomas Houseman of Anne Amie Vineyards in the Willamette Valley will show Pinot Noir wines under different closures from the 2007 and 2013 vintages.

Conference sessions, breakfast, lunch, a targeted trade show and wine reception are all included in the $199 registration fee. The two tasting sessions are ticketed and limited in attendance with an extra fee of $30. For more information and to register, visit wvpack.com, or email events@winesandvines.com or call (866) 453-9701, ext. 102.


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