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Fundamentals of Modern Wine Chemistry

July 15 & 16, 2014 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Texas Tech University Center 102 E San Antonio St Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Optional Wine & Music Workshop
at a local winery on July 17th 7-9 PM

$350 Includes class, syllabus, and lunch both days.

Upon registration, you will receive a copy of the Fundamentals of Wine Chemistry course syllabus which should be read prior to attending the class.


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 3,000 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.  Lunch will be served at each session. Feel free to bring any wine you would like to share.  Participants must be 21 years of age or older.

To request more information about the course, email us, or call The Orchard at (707) 542-7745.

Second Annual Postmodern Winemaking Symposium
November 15 & 16, 2014
Santa Rosa, CA


Day 1 Day 2
*Vineyard Enology:  Vine Balance, living soil, ripeness *Pros & cons of indigenous yeast fermentation
*Fermentation & co-extraction strategies *Microbial balance (“Integrated Brett Management”)
*Comparing & contrasting the enological oxygen spectrum *Reduction management
*Structure Building & aromatic integration *Minerality
*The Seven Functions of Oak *Biodynamics
*America’s Exploding Winemaking Diversity *Sulfite-free winemaking
*Wine as liquid music:  Harmony & Astringency *Natural Wines, manipulation, & technology


Why don’t our wines deliver as they should? Why does our highly intensive work sometimes fail to deliver the expectation to put “an opera in the bottle”?

Clark’s critically acclaimed book from U.C. Press, Postmodern Winemaking, explores a new path which incorporates fresh perspectives on vine balance, living soil, ripeness, co-extraction, structure-building, aromatic integration, the seven functions of oak, microbial balance, reduction management and graceful longevity, clarifying the value of new oxygenation and membrane technologies.

In seeking to enhance winemaking effectiveness, the postmodern view questions much unworkable conventional wisdom in areas such as microbial control, oxygen exposure, fining and sterile bottling.  Smith’s work challenges our fundamental assumptions about what wine really is:  the application of the solution model to wine, the downside of pesticides and herbicides in the vineyard, the supremacy of varietal character, the value of extended hang time and high brix, and the way we conceive of and handle reduction.

Unlike Modern Winemaking Fundamentals (February 2014), this newly minted course is not a lecture. It will instead experiment with interactive formats which bring together a wide variety of expert perspectives.

The cutting edge nature of the material promises to deliver more questions than answers.  The course’s purpose is to develop in each participant a unique language to articulate their specific vision for connecting the consumer to the soul of a place.

Participation is limited and sure to sell out.

Participants in this class should have a thorough prerequisite background in winemaking.  Registrants with any doubt should interview with Clark in order to determine if their knowledge is adequate for participation in this class.  Registrants will receive a copy of Smith’s book, Postmodern Winemaking, which should be read prior to attending the class.

The registration fee is not refundable, but it is transferrable.

To request more information about the course, email us, or call us at (707) 542-7745.