Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, sensory, sensory science, SOMM Journal, Sonoma, Wine
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In Pursuit of Sensory Literacy

When Sonoma’s La Crema Winery turned 40 last year, it celebrated the milestone with a unique exercise: Led by Dr. Henry “Hoby” Wedler, it was easily one of my top sensory experiences of 2019.

Wedler, who has been blind since birth, studied chemistry at the University of California, Davis, and serves as Sensory Innovation Director at Senspoint, a consulting practice he co-founded with several partners.

A native of Petaluma, Wedler has long explored the geology of the Sonoma County and has worked extensively with local clients in viticulture and winemaking—including Jackson Family Wines, which acquired La Crema from founder Rob Berglund in 1993.

After conducting a brief overview of the winery’s history and the terroir-related factors that influence the quality and style of wines grown on the Sonoma Coast, Wedler led a small group of professional tasters through six Russian River Valley AVA wines made by La Crema winemaker Craig McAllister.

While Wedler designed the experience to improve sensory literacy, he also described it as a “thought-provoking way of telling the story of a great growing region like the Sonoma Coast.”

To begin, the 2017 Kelli Ann’s Vineyard Chardonnay and the 2016 Bellflower Vineyard Pinot Noir were analyzed using all five senses. To help us connect aromas readily apparent in the wines with the aromas of microbial terroir from each expression’s respective vineyard, Wedler asked the group to moisten two vials containing soil samples with a small amount of water. 

Read the complete article here –

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