As we grow older, we are getting curious about everything around us. Perhaps, some of us think about how the wine was made. In online articles or blogs, we can read numerous benefits of wine. Now, let’s talk about how the wine was made.
In general, the exact wine that every winemaker wishes to make varies on technique, time, climate, and grapes. These are the main factors affecting the taste and quality of the wine.
Harvesting of Grapes
Grapes are one of the most widely produced fruits around the globe. Mostly, months of August, September, and October are the perfect time to harvest for most wineries in North America and Europe.
Places below from the equator such as Australia, South Africa, and South America, usually harvest from February to April.
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The grapes for making red wine are collected in bins. These harvested grapes are transported to the crushing pad and turn them into juice.
Farmers always make sure that they harvest grapes with stable sugar levels or it’s already ripe. The grapes are either harvested during day or night as long as it’s ready to pick.
Crush the Grapes
The traditional way of crushing grapes is through feet. This traditional way is called foot treading that could be accompanied by dance. But, today’s generation has already modern machinery which makes the process easier.
Today’s technology uses machinery for making wines. The picked grapes are smoothly crushes using this machine. Crushing method is crucial in the process to absorb the flavor and tannins.
White and red wine has a different process. All grapes in making white are crushed to make enough juice and leave the grape’s skin. While in red wine, grapes are crushed along with their skin.
The Fermentation Process
Fermentation is an essential process in winemaking. This is where the sugar converts into alcohol. The process includes adding yeast to the vast to make fermentation keep going.
Winemakers put the juice of the grapes in the container with the right temperature. The temperature is some of the crucial things to remember during fermentation.
During fermentation, carbon dioxide is released which will make the skin of the grapes rise to the surface. To make the skin in contact with the juice, winemakers must punch down the surface.
Fermentation is often done in steel tanks or wine barrel. The fermentation tanks are controlled by a specific system. Most red wine fermentation process needs enough temperature ranges from 78.8 to 86°F. This required temperature extracts the pigments from the grape skin.
After fermentation, the clarification begins. This is where the extra solids such as proteins and dead yeast cells are removed. The wine is transferred to barrels or tank such as an oak or stainless steel to clarify.
When a substance is added for clarification purposes, this is where fining happens. One of the examples of substance is clay that allows the fining process to take place.
Along with this procedure is the filtration. Filtration is used to capture the large particles found in wine. After fining and filtration, the clarified wine is now ready for the aging.
The Aging Process
Aging process refers to a natural improvement of taste or flavor of the wine. Aging must follow after fermentation and before bottling. This is where the maturation of the wine happens.
During this phase, the wine is subjected to essential treatments including stabilization, malolactic fermentation, and clarification. The wine composition in this period is greatly affected by the air. The wine is periodically exposed to air to change its composition.
There are plenty of choices when it comes to this process. Aging greatly affects the flavor of the wine. Depending on the wine that makers want to produce, some wine undergoes from several months or years of aging.
Wineries may use oak or stainless in doing this procedure. In America and for French people, they use oak barrels to get the perfect aging.
Superior and unique flavored-wines such as Dom Perignon wine undergo a long aging process to get the desired flavor aging.
Time to Bottle
After harvesting grapes, fermentation, and aging, the processed wines are now ready to be bottled.
This last phase of winemaking seems to be the very hectic day of winemakers. But before this last phase, the wine must undergo filtration and use of antiseptics to fights against microbe development.
The steps mentioned above are essential to every winemaker to produce the wine they wish to produce. The right amount of grapes collected, the right fermentation and aging process will definitely meet the standards of people.
Natural factors such as climate and soil affect the wine, but aside from this, the making process also plays a vital role. Hence, it is necessary to consider factors in every phase.
Winemaking requires a big amount of time and effort as the process is not as easy as pouring it to your glass. As they say, it’s not just an art, but also science.
Scarlett Wells is a freelance writer and wine enthusiast. She is an active critique examining all levels of wine types so she can produce reviews and articles that will help guide every consumer in selecting the right kind of wine to drink. Aside from that, she wrote a lot of blogs maximizing the real usage of wines. In her free time, she reads a lot about food and beverage pairing in order to help her become an effective mentor inspiring everyone to maintain a fit and fab lifestyle.