Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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sampling, important part of a continuum of wine quality control procedures which begin in the vineyard and may end when a consumer picks a bottle out of a case in his or her cellar.

A very small proportion of a vineyard’s fruit may be sampled to assess its chemical composition to help predict the harvest date, as well as to indicate likely quality and, in some cases, eventual wine style. Grape sampling might simply consist of selecting some berries haphazardly from the vineyard and expressing juice into a refractometer to measure sugar content (see must weight; see also ripeness). A more rigorous approach involves larger samples and winery laboratory analysis.