The Blended Learning class of 2013 set out to explore the influence of training systems on grapes and wine. They worked with Hedges Family Estates on Red Mountain whose estate vineyards contained the same clone of Syrah, grown side-by-side, using two different training systems, Loose VSP and Head-trained. The Loose VSP (vertical shoot position) system is the predominant trellising system in Washington State and in much of the world. In this system, there can be one cordon or two cordon arms with shoots trained and held in place by catch wires. This system creates narrow vertical canopies with well exposed fruit. Head-trained vines are free-standing and grow without the support of a trellis. The vines have a short trunk and the shoots originate from the crown of spurs and are allowed to fall in a circular manner.
Upon harvest, the students quickly began noticing subtle differences in the fruit flavors. The grapes were fermented using the same fermenters and processes. After fermentation, the wines were very distinctive which prompted students to bottle them individually, creating a unique tasting experience for the consumer.
Aromas/Flavors: cocoa, cherry, blueberry
AVA: Red Mountain
Partner Vineyard: Hedges Estate Vineyard, Hedges Family Estate
Partner Winemaker: Pete Hedges & Sarah Goedhart, Hedges Family Estate