The effects of music on wine can be tasted at Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Tuesday March 09 2021 by Vitisphere

 Arthur Mayard comments on “greater intensity in the musical wine, with higher alcohol and more residual sugars, more depth and greater texture”. Arthur Mayard comments on “greater intensity in the musical wine, with higher alcohol and more residual sugars, more depth and greater texture”. - Photo credit : We Wine !

Can making wine to music lead to greater winemaking efficacy? A number of Languedoc winegrowers have tried it (Domaines de l'Octroi, Haut-Lirou, Vordy...) but to make up his own mind, Provence negociant Lionel Boillot (We Wine!) decided to produce his own score. He bought grapes from a vineyard at Domaine Mayard (AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape) to gauge the effects of making wine to music, a technique developed by Melody Griffet who defines herself as a “sound therapist”, in conjunction with Hérault company Swing It, which has patented the technology.

We chose a jazz soundtrack because I thought it might be tiring to listen to hard-rock, electro or reggae for nine hours”, quipped Boillot. Though willing to try something creative, Boillot is also a pragmatist and says he chose a high profile appellation in case the results of the test were not conclusive and he was unable to ‘blow his own trumpet’... “I was slightly sceptical to start with”, admitted Arthur Mayard, head winemaker at the eponymous family estate (42 hectares of organic vineyards). Since then he’s changed his tune: “The differences in aroma and flavour have been sustained over time. You quickly notice a difference in terms of alcohol and colour, and fermentation dynamics. I don't know if it's related to the music or not...”

As soon as they were harvested, the red grapes from the plot being trialled were divided into two batches. The first went into a control tank and the second had speakers immersed beneath the pomace cap. The speakers played jazz and used specific frequencies from 8am to 5pm during the 45 days of fermentation (alcoholic then malolactic).

We are pleasantly surprised. Experience shows that it adds something new,” confirmed Boillot, who is releasing 10,000 bottles of the wine this spring under his dedicated ‘Père Pape in the Groove’ label. The wines will retail for €45 a bottle and €96 for a tasting box to compare the musical label with the control wine. New appellations and new scores are slated for 2021.

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