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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION TO WINEMAKING

What is oenology? We start the book with a chapter defining the basic concepts of this science, placing it in a historical context and tracking its evolution until the present day. As a starting point, we reveal the leading lights of the scientific community and the other individuals – associated with Bullipedia – that have inspired us with the rigour of their research and guided us in the writing of this volume.

We also learn how the different actors in the world of oenology carry out this activity, whilst reflecting upon the words of David Seijas, a Bulliniano sommelier: “More and more, sommeliers are oenologists, and vice versa”.

What factors in the winery make one wine different from another? Or more particularly, why are there better and worse wines? We take a holistic approach to examine winemaking and oenology. Looking at it from a scientific viewpoint, with a contribution from Eric Asimov, and from other perspectives, such as a mathematical one (winemakers normally have their accounting book near to hand), a philosophical one (do platonic and aristotelian wines exist?) and a linguistic one. And above all, examining the subject from an artistic perspective, deliberating if wine can be a work of art and whether the winemaker is an artist with the capacity to innovate. Read the chapter to find out.

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