The Why, When and How of Wine Blending

Jun 12, 2018

The majority of the wines you drink are blends, but why do winemakers blend and what does each variety bring to the final wine? Washington State winemakers tell us their tricks.

(Winemag) - “I love blending,” says Ben Smith co-owner Cadence Winery. “It’s one of the two times a year—along with harvest—I actually feel like I’m making wine.”

Almost all wines are blends of some sort. Some might be a blend of different barrels, vineyards or blocks of a single variety. Others might be a blend of different appellations or varieties.

But why do winemakers blend?

“The art of blending, to me, is to take individual pieces and make the sum of what you’re blending better than those individual pieces you started out with,” says Mike Macmorran, winemaker, of Mark Ryan Winery.

Once grapes are in the winery during harvest, winemakers immediately start evaluating what they have, tasting first each fermenter and then barrel, keeping notes, rating and ranking along the way.


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