Acclaimed winemakers Adam and Dianna Lee have announced the implementation of gluten testing on their Siduri Pinot Noirs beginning with the 2012 vintage. This information will be included in the winery’s new “full disclosure’ wine notes produced for each wine. The notes will be posted to the winery’s website (www.siduri.com) and linked via QR code from the bottle labels, making it easy for customers to review everything – including the ingredients, additives and specific winemaking processes – that goes into crafting each Siduri Pinot Noir. The first wine baring the new QR code-linked wine notes is the 2012 Siduri Sonoma County Pinot Noir, which is releasing in late August, 2013.
“It’s long been thought that wine is gluten free,” said Siduri co-owner and co-winemaker Adam Lee, “but if you read many of the websites devoted to those with gluten sensitivity, you see that it is far from a settled fact.” Concerns exist that the heads of wine barrels are often sealed with flour paste and that this might transfer to the wine. Similarly, there is a lesser concern about certain fining materials that are used in wine. “We knew that we weren’t fining the wines,” said Lee, “but we were not sure what effect the flour paste from the barrels might have. So we decided to test the wines.” To date, all of the Siduri Pinot Noirs tested have been gluten-free, but the Lees plan to continue testing.
Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established the first-ever standard for labeling a food product as ‘gluten-free’, setting the threshold at less than 20 parts per million (http://www.massgeneral.org/children/assets/pdf/gluten-labeling-release-080213.pdf). While wine, as well as other alcoholic beverages, is not included in the new FDA ruling, the Lees voluntarily chose to use the FDA standard to test their wines. To date, all of the Siduri Pinot Noirs tested have come back at less than 1ppm (or non-detectable).
“We’d been planning to list additives, ingredients and winemaking processes on our wine notes for some time now,” added Lee, “but we have an employee with gluten sensitivity, and that got us thinking that we really should include that information on the wine notes as well.”
Some might question why the information will be included in the Siduri wine notes but not on the bottle labels. Lee explains, ‘The wine notes allow us to share very detailed information about the wines, including numbers for pH, titratable acidity, and sulfur levels, which don’t become truly accurate until after the wine is bottled.” Setting aside the space constraints of a wine label, the fact that labels are applied at the time of bottling makes it all but impossible to include post-bottling information on the label. With the QR code printed on the label, customers can easily access the information within moments of scanning the label – providing extensive information at the time of purchase or consumption.
For those with dietary considerations as well as gluten sensitivity, all Siduri Pinot Noirs are both vegan and gluten-free.
About Siduri: Winemakers Adam and Dianna Lee burst onto the scene in 1995, when legendary wine critic Robert Parker praised their very first Siduri Pinot Noir. Nearly twenty years later, they have established themselves as one of California’s most respected winemaking teams. In addition to their critically acclaimed Siduri Pinot Noirs (12,000 cases annually, priced $20-$60) showcasing top vineyards from Santa Barbara’s Sta. Rita Hills to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the Lees also make the Novy Family Wines (5,000 cases annually, priced $14 – $34) in partnership with Dianna’s Texas-based family, focusing on varietals other than Pinot Noir, including Syrah, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Grenache. Both labels are produced at the Lee’s warehouse winery in Santa Rosa Ca., and are available through the winery and at fine restaurants and wine shops nationally. Siduri Winery is open to the public for tastings and tours daily from 10am-3pm by appointment.