Fun wine fact: Dr. Jean-Antoine Chaptal

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Backwoods, but not backwards...
Sep 18, 2016
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North Central Arkansas Ozarks
Born in France in 1750 Dr. Jean-Antoine Chaptal is one of 72 scientists who has his name inscribed on the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower. This gifted individual was a chemist, physician, agronomist, philosopher, statesman, and philanthropist.
But for our interests he is the individual who in 1801 "first advocated the addition of a concentrated solution of sugar to improve the stability and character of wines produced by immature or rainswollen grapes. The increased alcohol content generated by the added sugar improved both features." (Wine Science - Principles and Applications, Ron Jackson)

In France the climate in some areas was not always conducive to attaining the 'perfect grape.' An excessive number of cloudy days and cool temps often left the vineyard owners short on Brix levels.

Now you know why many refer to sugar addition as "chaptalization."
He is also credited with introducing the term for "nitrogen."
Fun Fact: Chaptalization is controversial in commercial wine making. And is often regulated and apparently fully prohibited in Argentina, Australia, California, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

Regarding California this is an interesting reality:

"And then there’s the famous MegaPurple and its off-brand equivalents, that goopy syrup of grape concentrate used to doctor a wine into something boozier, darker and sweeter than the vineyard could have produced. Because it’s derived from grapes, concentrate is used to bypass the illegal (in California) practice of chaptalization, adding sugar to grape juice pre-fermentation to increase its potential alcohol."