“The Science of Wine” is a monthly column by Christian Gastón Palmaz about the pursuit (and achievement) of the seamless fusion of technology, art and tradition in winemaking.
PAY A VISIT TO Palmaz Vineyards and you’ll encounter a dazzling array of technology, but don’t be fooled — all that swanky, futuristic stuff is not what makes the wine. Like so many other technical art forms, winemaking at its core remains qualitative, creative and intimately human. At Palmaz, the art of wine still occurs in the glass, and magic happens in those quiet moments when the winemaker’s mind is open to perceiving, appreciating and harnessing what Mother Nature has given to a particular vintage.
Beginning with my time in school, I’ve been struck by the way some technology actually impinges on the ability to be creative. Learning how to code in various programming languages and toiling on spreadsheets made my brain ache. Database technologies are powerful tools, but I fell victim to spending countless hours crunching data and not enough time outside with dirt under my boots.