trinity magazine winter 2016 | BY carlos anchondo | Full Issue (page 50)
FOR ALMOST NINE DECADES, the Henry Hagen House in Napa, Calif., lay in a state of neglect. Nestled at the foot of Mt. George, the old Victorian manor sat abandoned, presiding over an equally forsaken estate where the old Cedar Knoll Vineyard once operated. Turn-of-the-century farming equipment rusted away, lifeless in the middle of a field of vines. A time capsule of the Great American West, the estate’s future seemed bleak–until the Palmaz family discovered and unearthed its beauty.
SHIVANI VORA, a travel and lifestyle writer who is a regular contributor to the New York Times, included Palmaz Vineyards and winery’s tour and tasting in her most recent biweekly column, “Today’s Travel Hotel and Tour News.” Vora has also written for publications including the Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler, T Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler and Departures.
THIS VINEYARD USES SUBMARINE TECHNOLOGY TO FERMENT ITS WINE
Food and wine 1.15.16 | BY MIKE POMRANZ | PHOTO BY NICOLA MAJOCCHI | ORIGINAL ARTICLE
DESPITE THE IMPORTANCE of terroir and technique, at its core, winemaking is a relatively simple process. Take the juice of grapes and let it sit until it ferments. In its most basic form, alcohol production can involve doing nothing at all (I know all the people who spend their lives making spontaneously fermented beverages will probably quibble with the notion that they don’t do anything, which is not the point—I’m just saying you can get booze by letting nature do a lot of the heavy lifting). But if you want to make good wine, that’s when more advanced methods come into play, and though some winemakers stand by traditional methods, others constantly look for the latest technology to make each vintage perfect.
Napa’s Fermenting Your Wine With Submarine Technology
WIRED MAGAZINE 9.16.16 | BY LARISSA ZIMBEROFF | PHOTO BY CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK | ORIGINAL ARTICLE
IN A TRADITIONAL wine fermentation tank, if the yeasts start acting weird, it might be days before anyone smells or tastes the damage. But at Palmaz Vineyards in Napa, California, staff can detect risk factors before they develop into wine-spoiling problems. That’s thanks to the Fermentation Intelligence Logic Control System, a Minority Report–style setup that tracks the vino at a molecular level, giving the winemaker the information needed to adjust temperatures in different parts of the tank with incredible precision (control over heat = control over yeast). The system is based on a submarine-industry technology called sono-densitometry: A tuning-fork-like probe inside each tank measures vibrations 10 times per second, yielding millions of data points about the density of the liquid. That tells you the sugar and alcohol levels, and thus the rate at which fermentation is occurring. Then software slurps up this cloud of data to show, say, temperature variations. That’s projected on the dome of Palmaz’s fermentation cave—a curved display of charts and graphs showing an ancient process in far-out detail. A geotagging system means that the tanks even “know” exactly which person is standing in front of which tank, so the projections a particular winemaker is working on follow them around. It’s like Big Brother for big cabs.
WINE BUSINESS MONTHLY featured Palmaz Vineyards this month in a fascinating article regarding the complex art of cap management during fermentation. Christian Palmaz explains how the winery’s unique thermographic system allows winemakers to understand temperature distribution inside of a fermenter. This research has led to new understandings as to why and when certain aromas and favors extract into wine. The full article can be seen by clicking here.
When Cutting Edge Innovation Meets the Art of Wine-Making, the Industry Is Forever Changed
NAPA, CA / ACCESSWIRE / November 2, 2015 / After Four Seasons Magazine named Palmaz Vineyards one the Napa Valley’s Best Wineries,the winemaker has launched their newest project: a brand-new websitefeaturing state-of-the-art backend coding and a mobile-friendly interface.
“We thought our new site should match the meticulous care we put into harvesting our grapes. We want visitors to experience the winery through the web from the comfort of home,” explained Christian Gastón Palmaz, President Palmaz Vineyards.
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 1:42 pm by Tony Landucci Sonoma West Staff Writer | ORIGINAL ARTICLE
TankNet might not be a household name, but for winemakers like Rodney Strong, between Healdsburg and Windsor, it is the brainstem of a technological revolution in the wine industry. From controlling the fermentation process in the tank room, to generating a 3-D image of what is going on inside the tank, TankNet has become the go-to tech for the geeks of wine and beer making. The instant control extends beyond dials on a console, or a laptop computer wired into the tank room. Winemakers from Asti Winery in Cloverdale to Korbel in West County are able to monitor, make adjustments and tinker with their wine with a smartphone app.
TankNet started out as a computer based process to monitor and control the fermentation process in winemaking, giving vintners an advantage in foreseeing and avoiding problems before they happen. To Paul Egidio, chief technical officer for Acrolon Technologies, Inc., going from a traditional desktop or laptop computer to a tablet and smartphone was “just a natural iteration of the progression” of TankNet.
When Christian Palmaz, president of Palmaz Vineyards, wants to know the temperature in one of his 24 fermentation tanks all he has to do is look up. Projected across the domed ceiling of his family’s 18-story high winery is a graph for each tank showing metrics such as temperature and brix (sugar level). It’s like something NASA might have designed, yet it’s just one of many technological innovations developed by the Palmaz family at their state-of-the art, 110,000 square foot winery, the largest in Napa Valley. “No one else has anything like this,” Florencia Palmaz, director of marketing, told me on a recent visit to New York.
The vision came from vineyard founder Dr. Julio Palmaz (Christian and Florencia’s father), a native of Argentina who spent most of his career in medicine as an interventional radiologist. He is famous for developing the balloon-expandable coronary stent, which earned him a place in the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame. His love of wine came during his residency at the University of California at Davis in the late 1970s, when he and his wife, Amalia, spent their weekends tasting wine in Napa. Although his work took the family to San Antonio, Texas, they dreamed of one day returning to start a winery of their own. Their chance finally came in 1997 after Dr. Palmaz sold the stent to Johnson & Johnson.