As I write the winery is full. Every fermenter is fermenting and all the staff are working at full speed. This is being banged out in a spare moment, wired on short-blacks and dark chocolate.

One day I'm going to submit a paper to our major industry mag. This august publication is usually crammed with industry sponsored pseudo-scientific fluff dressed up to look like real peer-reviewed science, all with the intention of prompting the more gullible amongst us to splash out on the latest enzyme, wonder yeast or whatever. The major crime of these articles, worse than the technical rigour usually associated with "new, improved" shampoo and washing powder ingredients, is that they are mind-numbingly boring.

My paper is going to be far more fun and will be on the importance of winery music on wine style. It has been pretty well established that background music can have a major effect in all sorts of ways. Cows produce more milk when soothed by Beethoven's pastoral symphony, and less when excited by 70's glam rock. When played Mozart through the PA, hoodlums on British train stations stop knifing passers-by and instead join book clubs and start baking cup-cakes. So it is hardly a great leap of faith to expect yeast to react to music in the winery.

I have already started the research. During some crushing and plunging, we play proper delta blues; Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and the like. Other ferments are being worked to the soundtrack of classical music. I'm not sure why, but my tastes tend towards the dramatic or morbid during vintage, so this mainly consists of Mozart's Requiem, St Matthew's Passion of J.S Bach and bits of Sibelius. The last set is being exposed to ska and reggae from the 70's; lots of Bob Marley, Toots and the Maytals and Jimmy Cliff's soundtrack for ‘The Harder the Come'. We are monitoring the rate of fermentation and will correlate this to music style. After pressing the various batches will be matured identically and next year will be tasted and ranked on characters such as depth and hue, level of ‘brooding' tannins and structural integrity. As this is ‘proper' scientific research I shouldn't pre-suppose any of the findings, but I do hope we'll be able to show that winery music choice can have a significant effect on yeast behaviour and tannin structure.