20 Aug 5 Stages of the Wine Making Process
Winemaking is a process which has been cherished for thousands of years, and it is not just art but science. Winemaking is a natural process which requires human intervention as well as some different techniques. There are five basic components of winemaking, which is discussed in the articles.
The first step of creating the best wine is to ensure that grapes are harvested properly. Grapes have acids, esters, tannins, which makes for natural and stable wine. Tannin is an element which makes the wine dry and adds bitterness to the whole wine. Knowing the right moment to pick the grapes include picking the right determinants of sweetness, acidity and flavour, which requires a bit of science. Harvesting can be done by hand or mechanically, which many winemakers select the way they want to harvest.
Crushing and pressing
In this process, the grapes are sorted, which needs to be de-stemmed and crushed. Traditionally men and women do it by manually stomping on the grapes with feet, but nowadays everything is mechanical. This process is called a ‘must,’ it is simply the crushed grape juice with the skin, seeds and solids. This process gives the much-needed longevity and determines the quality of the wine.
This process comes into play after the crushing and pressing process where the Must start to ferment naturally within 6-12 hours, which is later aided with the help of yeast. The process keeps on continuing until the sugars are converted into alcohol.
After the fermentation is complete, the process of clarification begins which allows the dead yeast to cells, tannins and proteins are removed and is later transferred into a different vessel such as an oak barrel where the wine can be clarified through filtration. Fining is a process where the winemaker adds substance, which helps in clearing out as the unwanted particles by forcing it to stick to the bottom of the tank. This clarified wine is later racked into another vessel which is later stored to age.
Ageing and Bottling
The final stage of the winemaking process is ageing and bottling. This is where the winemakers have two options where they can immediately start to give away, or you can further age the wines in the bottles itself. Ageing wines in oak barrels allows the wine to be much more smoother, rounder and develop a flavour. The increased exposure to the oxygen increases the ageing process of the wine while decreasing tannin, helping the wine reach its optimal fruitiness. Ageing wine in a bottle with the cork can allow for the wine to develop tasty results.