Fundamentals of Modern Wine Chemistry

"Smith teaches at Napa Valley College, UC Davis extension, and CSU Fresno, where he has a reputation for making complex concepts accessible."                                             -David Darlington,  Wine and Spirits Magazine

"Over my many years as a wine industry professional I have worked with innumerable master winemakers, but Clark Smith truly stands above them all. He possesses the most comprehensive understanding of the complexities of wine of anyone I've ever known in the business, and his ability to communicate his knowledge to his clients and his students is unparalleled."           -Dr. Stephen Krebs, Dean, Viticulture and Winery Technology, Napa Valley College


Course Description

Offered from 1986-2008 at UC Davis as an extension short course, this class has consistently received top evaluations from over 4,000 attendees. Its original intention, to summarize the basics of a U.C. Davis Enology education, is now supplemented by emerging postmodern winemaking ideas.  Designed to benefit the home winemaker as well as professionals at all levels, the course requires a general knowledge of winemaking basics, but does not demand a formal knowledge of chemistry. 
This popular two-day program provides insights into the interplay of chemical reactions that occur in wine and in winemaking, establishing the necessary background for informed decisions on wine processing. This is a course in winemaking theory and practice, and does not provide training in methods of wine analysis.
On the first day, we summarize freshman chemistry concepts of atomic structure, the periodic table, nomenclature, and polarity and use them to examine the basics about acids (pH vs. TA: an introduction to chemical equilibrium), and consider all aspects of sulfur dioxide in wine (a case study in wine chemistry).

On the second day, we delve into crush chemistry techniques, fining, spoilage treatment choices and explore wine’s phenolic structure and reductive properties.  Discussions include vine balance, ripeness, fermentation strategies, oxygenation, uses of oak, microbial stabilization strategies, and emerging winemaking technologies.
The course is taught in an interactive format in which questions and comments are welcomed and real world dilemmas are explored.  Bring any wine you would like to share.  Participants must be 21 years of age or older.

Clark is offering his famous Wine and Music Seminar free to participants of the March 8-9, 2018. Fundamentals of Modern Wine Chemistry Class.  Read more about the seminar herePlease indicate if you will be attending the Wine and Music Seminar: Wednesday evening, March 7, 2017  7-9 PM.  The Wine and Music Seminar is open to the public and you may bring a guest(s) for an additional $30 per person

To request more information about the course, email us, or call the GrapeCraft Wine Academy at 707-237-7000



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