VINQUIRY MISSION STATEMENT
Vinquiry is dedicated to providing high quality technical services and products to the wine industry. We achieve this by maintaining standards of excellence and direct relationships with our customers. We value contributing to the winemaking community and the ongoing success of the company.
|Please click here for employment opportunities at Vinquiry.|
In 1979, Marty Bannister and MaryAnn Graf decided there was a need for an independent wine-testing laboratory in Sonoma County. They founded Vinquiry in a former dentist’s office in downtown Healdsburg. At the start, the only two pieces of "high-tech" equipment were a spectrophotometer and a microscope. Despite those modest beginnings, within five years Vinquiry’s success forced us to find a new and larger home near Dry Creek Road. We believe our initial success was the result of combining high-quality analytical services with a uniquely knowledgeable and accessible staff. This value-added approach remains a specialty at Vinquiry.
By the early 90’s we were able to offer a broad range of analyses from organic acid profiles using High Performance Liquid Chromatography to bitartrate stability evaluation by the Conductivity method. In 1994 we went even further, acquiring an atomic absorption spectrophotometer to analyze metals, an automated gas chromatograph for quicker and more accurate alcohol analysis, an autotitrator for more consistent titratable acidities, and a photomicroscope. In addition, we upgraded our computer system to allow for faster data processing and modem faxing.
In 1995, we added "panel" analyses combining groups of analytical procedures that help answer particular winemaking questions. In 1997, once again out of space, we built modern laboratory facilities in a 7,000 square-foot building in Windsor—not far from our Healdsburg origins, but in a light industrial neighborhood more appropriate to the size of our needs! Continuing with analytical innovation, we added a new High Performance Liquid Chromatograph with a photodiode array detector to analyze for 4-ethylphenol, the marker for presence of Brettanomyces.
To better serve our California Central Coast clients, we opened a Santa Maria satellite office in 1999, just in time for crush. Meanwhile, in Windsor, we continued our technical advance by adding a Kone automatic analyzer for a wide variety of the determinations traditionally done by wet chemistry in wine laboratories. In 2000, the Central Coast laboratory added microbiology procedures, including plating for Brettanomyces, to it's list of services.
Progress continued in 2001. Both laboratories purchased Near Infrared (NIR) analyzers for fast, accurate alcohol analysis. A new autotitrator in Windsor allowed the transfer of an existing instrument to the Central Coast, giving both facilities enhanced capability for those all-important pH and TA (titratable acidity) tests.
In Dec. 2001, Vinquiry expanded again with the purchase of Ascent Services in Napa, offering sensory evaluation services to the wine industry. The Vinquiry office in Napa not only offers sensory evaluation services, but also a wide range of analytical services and winemaking/laboratory products. In 2001, a 3,400-square foot addition was started at the Windsor facility. This project, completed in 2002, provided additional laboratory and much needed warehouse space.
December 2003 marked yet another change for Vinquiry. MaryAnn Graf, co-founder, announced her retirement after almost 40 years in the wine industry. MaryAnn was the first female to graduate from the University of California at Davis with a degree in enology. She was the winemaker at Simi Winery for a number of years before joining with Marty Bannister to create Vinquiry. She now resides in Healdsburg and is known to work as a winemaking consultant from time to time.
Vinquiry’s 25th anniversary was celebrated in 2004. This marker gave Vinquiry the momentum to move forward with more innovations, such as adding equipment to run PCR analysis in the microbiology department, TCA analysis, as well as updating the procedures and methods that currently are in place. The supply department was able to add multiple lines of fermentation products, take on the SOEC line of sparkling wine products, among other winemaking supplies for clients.
Vinquiry’s Windsor laboratory received ISO 17025:2005 accreditation in January of 2007 which verified the high quality of analytical services that we provided our clients. Just in time for harvest, 2007, Vinquiry opened its fourth office in Paso Robles, CA.
Just as we reached the 30th anniversary of Vinquiry in January 2009, we announced that the Esseco Group of Italy had acquired a majority share of the company. Esseco is the producer and supplier of the Enartis brand of premium winemaking products. As a result of this collaboration, Vinquiry carries a full range of Enartis winemaking products!
In June 2009, Denise Gardner joined Vinquiry as Sensory Scientist. She brings a high level of wine related expertise as she launches various projects. Don Frazer joined Grady Wann as Staff Winemakers, located at the Windsor office. The Mini Consult service was introduced into their repertoire of consulting services during Harvest 2009.
What’s new for the future? Keep checking our website for new and exciting developments!