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Austin Peterson, Ovid napa valley

Austin Peterson decided that he wanted to become a winemaker his father, also a winemaker, tried talking him out of it.  Winemaking may not be the most lucrative career, but it is rife with people choosing passion over payment.  Austin, now winemaker at Ovid Vineyards in Napa’s Pritchard Hill, brings a relentless passion to the vineyard and winemaking processes at Ovid Vineyards.  

Austin and the rest of the Ovid team might have one of the most spectacular daily commutes.   Resting above the main valley of Napa Ovid is situated on Pritchard Hill perched on its western slope.  It’s this slope that allows cool air to flow out from the vineyard and leave the vines out of frost’s harm. 

In this episode of the Inside Winemaking Podcast we discuss:  

  • Organic practices for weed control
  • Winery design and gravity flow at Ovid
  • The difference between sugar measurements Brix and sugar-per-berry
  • The method Austin uses to measure sugar-per-berry and the results they have observed in their vineyards
  • The advantages of barrel fermentation for red wines
  • How sugar accumulation is not correlated with anthocyanin synthesis in grapes during the growing season
  • Results from their experiments with vineyard shade cloth.  


I'm hoping to put together an episode where I answer listener questions about grapegrowing and winemaking.  Please email what's on your mind

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