Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Freemarsk addey winery
Freemark abbey was a premium wines production. Winery was located in Napa valley.
It was famous for best quality of grapes and

Freemark Abbey Winery+

In September 1976 Freemark
Abbey Winery,thought to take a decision on : should they harvest the Riesling grapes immediately, or
leave them on the vines despite the approaching storm? A storm just before the harvest is usually
detrimental, destroying the crop.

OBJECTIVE
• Produce the premium quality of wine
• Ideal temperature and climate to be maintained.
• No compromise with the quality
• Equal amount of carbon dioxide and alcohol
SPECIFICATIONS
• Vinification
• Style
• Preferences
• Duration

Situation analysis

• Freemark Abbey was located in St. Helena California, in the northern Napa Valley. The
winery produced only premium wines from the best grape varieties of the 25,000 cases of wine
bottled each year (about the same as Chateau Lalite-Rothschild), most were Cabernet Sauvignon
and Chardonnay. About 1.000 cases of Riesling and 500 cases of Petite Syrah were also bottled. (A
case contains 12 bottles of wine)

The Napa Valley extends for 30 miles from Calistoga in the north to Napa in the south
The average temperature decreases as one moves south, closer to San Francisco Bay and the cold
ocean waters. Freemark Abbey’s grapes came from an ideal climate in the central and southern
parts of the valley

• INFERENCES
1.
2.
3.

PROBLEM STATEMENT
From the weather reports leger concluded that there was a fifty fifty chance that the
rainstorm would hit the Napa Valley. Since the storm had originated over the warm waters off
Mexico, he thought there was a 40% chance that if the storm did strike, it would lead to the
development of the botrytis mold the botryti did not form, however, the rainwater, which
would be absorbed into the grapes through the roots of the vines, would merely swell the berries
by 5-10% decreasing their concentration. This would yield a thin wine that would sell wholesale
for only about $2.00 per bottle about SOS less than leer could obtain by harvesting the not
quite-ripe grapes immediately and eliminating the risk. Freemark Abbey always had the option of
grapes directly. These options would bring only half as much revenue, but would at least avald
not boiling a wine that was not up to standards. It could sell the wine in bulk or it could sell the
damaging the winery’s reputation, which would be risked by bottling an inferior product

Wine is produced when the fruit sugar, which is naturally present in the juice of grapes, is
converted by yeast, through fermentation into approximately equal molecular quantities of
alcohol and carbon dioxide. Sparkling wines efcepted, the carbon dioxide is allowed to bubble up
and dissipate. The wine then ages in barrels for one or more years until it is ready for bottling

By various decisions during vinification–for example, the type of wooden barrel used for
aging the winemaker influences the style of wine produced. The style adopted by a particular
Winery depends mainly on the owners’ preferences, though it is influenced by marketing
considerations. Usually, as the grapes ripen, the sugar levels increase and the acidity levels
Professor William Krasker prepared this case as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate the active or Freemar Abbey Winery

decrease. The winemaker tries to harvest the grapes when they have achieved the proper balance
of sugar and acidity for the style of wine sought. The ripening process is variable, however, and if
the weather is not favorable, the proper balance might never occur

Several different styles of Riesling more accurately. Johannisberg Riesling are on the
market. If the grapes are harvested at 20% sul the wine is fermented dry all the sugar is
converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide) or “near dry.” The resulting wine, at about 10% alcohol
is light bodied. If the grapes are harvested at 25% sugar, the winemaker can produce a wine with
the same 10% alcohol but with 5% residual sugar, this wine is sweet and relatively full bodied.

A third and rare style results when almost-ripe Riesling grapes are attacked by the botrytis
mold. The skins of the grapes become porous, allowing water to evaporate while the sugar
remains. Thus, the sugar concentration increases greatly, sometimes to 35% or more. The
resulting wine, with about 11% alcohol and 136 residual sugar, has extraordinary concentration,
and the botrytis itself adds to the wine’s complexity. Freemark Abbey had already produced
botrytised Riesling from its 1973 vintage

Jaeger’s Decision Problem

From the weather reports leger concluded that there was a fifty fifty chance that the
rainstorm would hit the Napa Valley. Since the storm had originated over the warm waters off
Mexico, he thought there was a 40% chance that if the storm did strike, it would lead to the
development of the botrytis mold the botryti did not form, however, the rainwater, which
would be absorbed into the grapes through the roots of the vines, would merely swell the berries
by 5-10% decreasing their concentration. This would yield a thin wine that would sell wholesale
for only about $2.00 per bottle about SOS less than leer could obtain by harvesting the not
quite-ripe grapes immediately and eliminating the risk. Freemark Abbey always had the option of
grapes directly. These options would bring only half as much revenue, but would at least avald
not boiling a wine that was not up to standards. It could sell the wine in bulk or it could sell the
damaging the winery’s reputation, which would be risked by bottling an inferior product

If Jaeger decided not to harvest the grapes immediately in anticipation of the storm, and
the storm did not strike Joeger would probably leave the grapes to ripen more fully. With luck
the grapes would reach 25% sugar, resulting in a wine selling for around $350 wholesale. Even
with less favourable weather, the sugar levels would probably top 20%, yielding a lighter wine
selling at around 53.00 Lager thought these possibilities were equally likely. In the past sugar
levels occasionally failed to rise above 19%. Moreover, while waiting for sugar levels to rise, the
acidity levels must also be monitored When the acidity drops below about 0.7% the grapes must
be harvested whatever the sugar level. If this happened, the wine would be priced at only about
$2.50. Jaeger felt that this event had only about 2 probability

The wholesale price for a botrytised Riesling would be about $8.00 per bottle
Unfortunately, the same process that resulted in increased sugar concentration also caused a 30%
reduction in the total juice. The higher price was therefore partly offset by a reduction in quantity.
Although fewer bottles would be produced, there would be essentially no savings in vinification
costs. The costs to the winery were about the same for each of the possible styles of wine and were
small relative to the wholesale price

Inflective handling of an administrative situation
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