Mozart, Merlot & the Influence of Classical Music on Winemaking


We've explored the relationship between music and wine in the past, focusing on the interaction between music and the wine drinking experience. 
Some experts have devoted hours to understanding how certain types of music can affect the way a wine tastes as it rolls over the palate while Led Zeppelin rumbles in the background. 
A new story from Vancouver's (Ca.) Vancity news website suggest that music – classical music, to be exact – may be able to influence the outcome of a wine if listened to during the winemaking process. 
Reporter Nicolle Hodges spoke with Okanagan Valley winemaker George Hanson, whose Seven Stones Winery is home to an Old World cellar and a whole lot of classical music. 
“Hanson believes that music can impact the taste of wine well before it touches the tongue,” Hodges wrote. “For the next six months, his wine will ferment in wooden barrels to the tune of classical music, which will play on surround sound speakers 24 hours a day.”
Hanson's theory is based on studies which have shown that plants and animals thrive when they are subjected to the vibrations produced by music. 
As the sound waves of a particular song move through, let's say, a barrel of wine, molecules may act differently than they normally would without the sound of music. 
Hanson isn't the only one who believes that music can affect a wine's fermentation process. There have been examples across the world of winemakers using classical compositions to coddle their vines and their wines: an Austrian winemaker believes music stimulates yeast action, his Italian counterpart in Siena says Mozart helps his vines while more winemakers are implementing the use of music as their wines age.
Like the Italian in Siena, Hanson believes the music he pumps into his barrel rooms will stimulate yeast to gobble up sugars. The quicker a winemaker can get rid of the sugars in his or her wine, the quicker the wine ages and, as the theory goes, the better it will taste. 
Hodges acknowledged that Hanson could be onto a genius idea or just a wild-goose chase. The winemaker himself said he's aware of the possibility that musical winemaking could be all notes and no flavor. 
If science eventually says that Mozart-infused Merlots are hokey, Hanson will, at the very least, be a winemaker well-schooled in classical music.
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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