NEW YORK STATE AMERICAN WHITE OAK WINESTIX® TANK STAVES BENCH TRIALS PREFORMED AT SHELDRAKE POINT WINERY

NEW YORK STATE AMERICAN WHITE OAK WineStix® TANK STAVES BENCH TRIALS PREFORMED AT SHELDRAKE POINT WINERY

DAVE BREEDEN, WINEMAKER

IMG_0273.JPGVINTAGE: 2010 GRAPES: Merlot, Cab Franc and Chardonnay   There were 3 trials of Cab Franc: 6 Medium Toast Level WineStix® Tank Staves in a 300-gallon “Dexter” Flex Tank; 5 Medium Toast Level WineStix® Tank Staves in 235 Gallons in a 260-Gallon Variable Capacity Tank; The remainder of the wine in 26 Barrels (50% 2nd or 3rd- use French or American Oak).   There were 2 trials of Merlot: 8 Medium Toast Level WineStix® Tank Staves in a 300-gallon “Dexter” Flex Tank; Remainder of the wine in Barrels (50% 2nd or 3rd- use American Oak).   There were 2 trials of Chardonnay: Variable Volume SS Tank with 13 Light Toast WineStix® Tank Staves in 780 gal. of Chard, and the 2 Chard. Barrels were both older French oak.   “After the wine had been in barrels for 4 months, a small group of winemakers tasted (double blind) the Cab Franc trials: WineStix® Tank Staves in FlexTanks vs. WineStix Tank staves in stainless vs. barrels and found that while we could identify, and generally didn’t prefer the wine in stainless, the wine in barrels was indistinguishable from the wine in FlexTanks with the WineStix® Tank Staves.”   “Similarly, the same group tasted (double blind) the Merlot trials, and again found that the wine in barrels was indistinguishable from the wine with the WineStix® Tank Staves.”   “After tasting the Chard with Spiral staves vs. Chard in barrels, we preferred the Chard with WineStix® Tank Staves. The fruit was more obvious, and the oak better integrated.”   “Given how much cheaper the FlexTanks are ($1200 delivered for a tank volume equal to that of 5 barrels), and how much less labor is required for them (no topping, much less filling and emptying time, one-fifth of the analysis required), I absolutely plan to incorporate more FlexTanks and WineStix® Tank Staves in my high-end red winemaking.” Dave Breeden   Sheldrake Point Winery: Back to back 2009 and 2010 Winner of “Winery of the Year” award.