In the Lab – Chrysalis Vineyards

Welcome to our video podcast: In the Lab -Chrysalis Vineyards – Video Show #75.

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Winemaking – is it art or science? Well, winemakers themselves will be the first to tell you it’s a bit of both. Obviously, artistic decisions come into play throughout the entire process. However, each and every decision has a basis in science.

So, in order to learn a little more about the science part of the equation, we thought we’d get a behind the scenes tour of a winery’s laboratory. Fortunately, during our trip to the Mid-Atlantic States, we had the opportunity to visit Chrysalis Vineyards. Located in Middleburg, Virginia, Chrysalis is rightly known for its efforts with the Norton grape, a non-vinifera native American variety that produces some rather large extracted wines.

Join us as we visit the laboratory at Chrysalis Vineyards with winemaker Mark Bunter, and get a sense of how all the electronics and test tubes combine with artistic decisions to create something special.

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4 Responses to “In the Lab – Chrysalis Vineyards”


  1. 1 Matt Sep 11th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Great video guys, I always love learning more about the science behind wine. now if only I could get my hands on some of that sort of kit, maybe it would help with my own home wine making lol.

  2. 2 GrapeRadio Bunch Sep 15th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Matt, you have to be a true wine geek to like the lab stuff. If you end up poisoning yourself making your own wine, don’t blame us!

    Jay

  3. 3 TT Oct 2nd, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Hello
    I am interested in an topic about the hazardous waste (HW) (California Code of Regulations Title 22) that can be generated from the wineries. I would like to understand the various hazardous waste streams that can be generated from each process:

    * fertilizers/ soil enrichment/ anti-molding agents
    * pesticides/ weed killers
    * grape stake woods
    * waste water, sewage treatment, water treatment
    * maintenance on motor equipment
    * laboratory research waste
    * reagents added to wine

    For example, employees who work in a laboratory should know how to manage HW according California to Health & Safety Code 25200.3.1(C)(5).
    Some of the laboratory testing can have toxic, corrosive, flammable, ignitable reagents

    * Clinitest contains copper sulfates. It generates HW b/c of the heavy metal copper which is corrosive, toxic and poisonous.
    * Flow Injection Analysis testing uses a reagent that contains Paraosanilan which is a potential carcinogen that requires Prop 65 warning label.

    How can laboratories properly manage HW? They should segregate waste into different containment trays based on hazard class and not let liquids evaporate since it is illegal to dispose HW to the atmosphere, even if it is in the protection of a fume hood. Are they dumping their acids and bases down the sink or does it go to a waste water holding tank that will be hauled off by a registered HW hauler?

    How are wine growers disposing their pesticide bags, containers and grape stake woods? Many of these contain many harmful chemicals that can leach into our ground water.

    Many wineries perform maintenance on their auto machinery but they let oil, diesel drip onto soil that will leach into the ground water. There are many used oil recycling centers that will freely take used antifreeze, oil, filters at no charge.

    Many wineries wash their equipment with harmful substance but where do their cleaning solvents go? Are they permitted by their Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) to discharge water into their septic system?

    Have the wineries filled out a Haz. Material Business Plan (Health & Safety Code Chap 6.95 Art 1 25500-25520 and Code of Federal Regulations Title 40 355 App A)and CalARP (CFR 40 Section 68, CCR Title 19 Chap 4.5 2735.1-2785.1) with their county?

    Wine with an EtOH >24% is ignitable! I read stories of death b/c employees were welding metal nearby wine and it ignited. There has been ammonia gas poisoning b/c employees didn’t check their valves, meters & equipment. Burning of treated wood grape stake will release toxic fume to air, ashes to water and soil.

    There should be a topic that address on environmental, green, employee safety, hazardous waste management of wineries.

  4. 4 Steve May 27th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Hello
    I am interested in an topic about the hazardous waste (HW) (California Code of Regulations Title 22) that can be generated from the wineries. I would like to understand the various hazardous waste streams that can be generated from each process:

    * fertilizers/ soil enrichment/ anti-molding agents
    * pesticides/ weed killers
    * grape stake woods
    * waste water, sewage treatment, water treatment
    * maintenance on motor equipment
    * laboratory research waste
    * reagents added to wine

    For example, employees who work in a laboratory should know how to manage HW according California to Health & Safety Code 25200.3.1(C)(5).
    Some of the laboratory testing can have toxic, corrosive, flammable, ignitable reagents

    * Clinitest contains copper sulfates. It generates HW b/c of the heavy metal copper which is corrosive, toxic and poisonous.
    * Flow Injection Analysis testing uses a reagent that contains Paraosanilan which is a potential carcinogen that requires Prop 65 warning label.

    How can laboratories properly manage HW? They should segregate waste into different containment trays based on hazard class and not let liquids evaporate since it is illegal to dispose HW to the atmosphere, even if it is in the protection of a fume hood. Are they dumping their acids and bases down the sink or does it go to a waste water holding tank that will be hauled off by a registered HW hauler?

    How are wine growers disposing their pesticide bags, containers and grape stake woods? Many of these contain many harmful chemicals that can leach into our ground water.

    Many wineries perform maintenance on their auto machinery but they let oil, diesel drip onto soil that will leach into the ground water. There are many used oil recycling centers that will freely take used antifreeze, oil, filters at no charge.

    Many wineries wash their equipment with harmful substance but where do their cleaning solvents go? Are they permitted by their Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) to discharge water into their septic system?

    Have the wineries filled out a Haz. Material Business Plan (Health & Safety Code Chap 6.95 Art 1 25500-25520 and Code of Federal Regulations Title 40 355 App A)and CalARP (CFR 40 Section 68, CCR Title 19 Chap 4.5 2735.1-2785.1) with their county?

    Wine with an EtOH >24% is ignitable! I read stories of death b/c employees were welding metal nearby wine and it ignited. There has been ammonia gas poisoning b/c employees didn’t check their valves, meters & equipment. Burning of treated wood grape stake will release toxic fume to air, ashes to water and soil.

    There should be a topic that address on environmental, green, employee safety, hazardous waste management of wineries.

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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

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