Definition - What does Laboratory Testing mean?
There are various laboratory tests that can be done to grapevine crops and to the wines they produce before and after fermentation. Most of these tests determine if there are viruses or diseases present in the vines and determines the amount of chemicals, sugar, acid, pH, and alcohol percentages in both unfermented juice and must in fermented wine.
The test results can help the vintner decide what actions need to be taken to produce the best possible wine.
WineFrog explains Laboratory Testing
Laboratory tests can be submitted to an outside company or completed within vineyard estate using specialized equipment to take accurate measurements. For crop testing, leaves or grape skins may be analyzed. If the vineyard is interested in tissue cultures, multiple shoot tissue samples can be tested for disease or contaminates. It is also important to monitor pesticide and herbicide concentrations which can be examined in lab testing.
This equipment for wine and must includes a refractometer and a hydrometer for sugar testing, a pH meter, oxidation equipment for sulfur measurement and glassware for testing titratable acid (TA). It is required for all commercial wine producers to test for alcohol percent by volume (by ebulliometer or distillation), but some home winemakers just use gravitational estimations. More extensive testing requires a microscope to look for yeast concentrations and bacteria present which can be helpful to determine any contaminations in the wine.