Some Winemakers Are Adding Hops to Wine. Here’s Why.

A beer process has become a relatively new trend in winemaking

grapes hops
Grapes and hops are now a mix in dry-hopped wine
Radachynskyi / Getty Images
By Kirk Miller / May 15, 2020 6:00 am

Beer and spirits. Wine and spirits. Those industries have worked well together, but rarely have beer and wine intersected.

Until recently, that is. Several innovative winemakers have started “dry-hopping” their vino to add new aromas, according to a new report by VinePair.

Here, dry hopping means adding hops after the boil at cooler temperatures instead of during the boil. It adds on the nose but doesn’t bring any of the expected bitter flavors.

Getting some dry hopping done tonight. Citra is my fave. Big complimentary aromas, but not so bitter that you can’t…

Posted by Michigan Wine Company on Wednesday, February 19, 2020

“I view it as complementary,” as Joe Krajkiewcz, the winemaker and owner of Michigan Wine Company, tells VinePair. “It’s about the aromatics. It kind of kicks it up a notch. It says, ‘Hey, this is interesting.’” Michigan Wine just released a white wine called Dry Hopped, which utilizes whole cones of Citra hops for two weeks of dry-hopping. (“Pairs well with Christmas parades, back country camping and disc golf” as the label notes.)

The trend seems to have started back in 2014 with the Germany brewery Freigeist, but has since grown to include several global vineyards, from California to the Czech Republic. One issue? Hops in wine do not behave the same as hops in beer. As Warwick Smith of London’s Renegade Urban Winery notes about one failed dry-hopped wine experiment: “Galaxy, which is one of my favorite hops in beer, just did not work. It smelled like a public toilet.”

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.

Daily Brief

News From Around the Web

May 25, 2020 May 24, 2020 May 23, 2020