by Fred McMillin
for May 20, 1998

Greg Cools It


Since the 1950's, fermentation of white wines has tended to be conducted slowly at low temperatures to retain more fruit aroma and delicacy.

...Schoonmaker Encyclopedia of Wine

Modern, light-bodied, aromatic white wines are often fermented very slowly for up to four weeks at temperatures as low as 50 degrees F., to retain all the freshness of the grape. Traditional European and other full-bodied whites tend to be fermented at higher temperatures—up to 75 degrees F.—to give bigger flavors.

...Joanna Simon, Discovering Wine

The Rest of the Story

Last fall Llano Estacado winemaker Greg Bruni was ready to ferment a blend of juices from Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, plus 10% Chardonnay. He wanted to make a delicate, fruit- laden wine. Did he ferment at 75 or 55 degrees? Clearly, 55 degrees, and clearly, he got the light, fruity wine he was after. You must try it with fish or fowl.

The Wine

Signature White, Texas Table Wine
Llano Estacado Winery, Lubbock, Texas
Tasting Notes—My beginners particularly enjoyed this Signature, compared to the jolt from an oaky Chardonnay powerhouse costing three times as much.
Rating—RECOMMENDED in its price range.
Price—$9 range


It's hard for me to realize that though wine has been made for at least 8,000 years, man has been able to enjoy this style of wine for less than 80. A hundred years ago, not even a king or queen could have obtained such a wine...way to go, Greg!

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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