The Stages of Wine Making
Posted on March 14, 2019 by xtxwebmaster
Wine production has been around for thousands of years; it even has evangelical significance in some religions. While the methods of its production have evolved over the years, the wine creation process still includes 5 main stages. Here’s a breakdown of what they are:
The wine making process begins with the harvesting of grapes. In order to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, the fruit must be harvested at exactly the right time, depending on how ripe it is. This ensures that the wine is delicious and flavorful.
Crushing and Juicing
Once harvested, the grapes are then de-stemmed and crushed. Grape pressing techniques have come very far since the days when people used to stomp grapes with their feet; today, crushing devices are used which make the process a lot more sanitary.
Mechanical presses extract the juice from the grapes and bring them into “must” form. This refers to grape juice containing seeds and skin, which is then further processed. The mechanical pressing equipment not only makes the crushing process sanitary, but it also improves the quality of the wine.
Once the main component of wine has been obtained, it is then fermented in a fermentation tank. At this stage, cultured yeast is either added by the manufacturer or the juice is allowed to ferment naturally.
The fermentation process continues until all the sugar content in the must is converted into alcohol, creating dry wine. For a sweeter wine, the process may be discontinued before the sugar conversion is complete. Typically, fermentation can last from 10 days to over a month.
After fermentation, the excess solids such as tannins, proteins, and dead yeast cells are removed from the mixture. The wine is shifted into a stainless steel tank or an oak barrel. This process is called clarification.
To further clarify the wine, certain substances are added to the wine to remove unwanted elements. Through filtration, these larger particles are captured while the wine is passed through a filter.
Aging and Bottling
Finally, the wine is ready to be bottled and cellared. The aging of wine varies by manufacturer, with some preferring to incorporate additional aging elements, while others bottle it right away. Depending on their preferences, the wine is stored in wooden barrels or steel tanks and then bottled shut using screw caps or corks.
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