AS PART OF the Palmaz Family’s unceasing dedication to historical and archaeological research and preservation of the Cedar Knoll estate, we recently came across an unpublished academic manuscript from 1965, A History of the Napa Viticultural District, by Ernest P. Peninou.
The tires of the Boeing triple seven hit the tarmac at Hong Kong International Airport. Mad/Dash Press publisher Aaron Sigmond and creative director Liliana Guia, weary after a 16-hour flight from JFK Airport in New York, climb into a taxi and cruise along the left side of the road to their hotel. A noodle dinner and coma-like sleep soon followed. A book project that had begun with an exotic journey was now concluding in much the same manner — which, in turn, will lead to your wine cellar, kitchen and coffee table.
“Recipes from Napa” is a monthly column by Florencia Palmaz about food, wine, cooking and entertaining.
MY FAMILY HAS BEEN blessed to live and work together on an estate that produces one of the world’s most joyful and magical elixirs. Life on a family vineyard has innumerable charms, and I could surely effuse to the point of reader nausea with smug Suzy Homemaker drivel about my latest fresh-from-the-garden creations. Don’t worry! This monthly column, “Recipes from Napa,” won’t be that kind of discourse — promise! You may hold onto your lunch, because I intend to tell you the straight truth about what goes on in my kitchen — the fresh, the frozen, the failures and everything in between.
“The Science of Wine” is a monthly column by Christian Gastón Palmaz about the pursuit (and achievement) of the seamless fusion of technology, art and tradition in winemaking.
PAY A VISIT TO Palmaz Vineyards and you’ll encounter a dazzling array of technology, but don’t be fooled — all that swanky, futuristic stuff is not what makes the wine. Like so many other technical art forms, winemaking at its core remains qualitative, creative and intimately human. At Palmaz, the art of wine still occurs in the glass, and magic happens in those quiet moments when the winemaker’s mind is open to perceiving, appreciating and harnessing what Mother Nature has given to a particular vintage.
Beginning with my time in school, I’ve been struck by the way some technology actually impinges on the ability to be creative. Learning how to code in various programming languages and toiling on spreadsheets made my brain ache. Database technologies are powerful tools, but I fell victim to spending countless hours crunching data and not enough time outside with dirt under my boots.
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.
Once the details of the two-volume, two-edition book set (a limited-edition deluxe set presented in a wooden wine crate and slipcase edition) were in place, Mad/Dash Press publisher Aaron Sigmond brought on several longtime collaborators to help make the volumes as lustrous as possible: author Nick Kolakowski, who would work alongside vineyards President Christian Gastón Palmaz on Book One; creative director Liliana Guia; and photographer Nicola Majocchi.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 12:00 AM | Brittany Greco
As I stepped into the elevator and began my ascent to the 14th floor of the elegant Library Hotel, I knew I was in for a treat. An evening promising tastes of delicious wines, accompanied by delectable hors d’oeuvres and a marvelous view of Midtown Manhattan-what more could a gal ask for?
With the last parcel from 1400 in, that concludes the 2015 Harvest. We can confidently say in-spite of lower yields, quality is excellent. It’s quite unbelievable that we are wrapped up with harvest on just October 8th. The lower yields and loose clusters can be attributed to a cold pattern we experienced during berry set (marked in blue on the weather chart below). Fortunately the rest of the season was free of major issues. We are very excited to continue to watch the 2015 develop through fermentation and finally in oak. Cheers to another year in the door!