Winemaking Process, The Key Steps;
The winemaking process is long and complex. It depends on the type of grapes and wine style we want to produce, there are a number of factors during these key steps that are always basic and customized throughout. However, to help explain the basic process here is a simplified guide to the key steps in making wine and we will just emphasize certain peculiarities depending on the wine we want to produce to make it simple and easy to understand for quickly understanding of the whole winemaking.
Harvest (vintage, picking up the grapes)
Normally in September and It can chance a little bit and be early September or late September depending on the region, soil and weather during the months before September . The right moment to harvest them is when grapes achieve optimum sugar and ripeness levels.
Crushing (shattering the grape)
Previous analysis of the grapes to determine its health status, sugar content and acids, the best grapes go into big barrels and are crushed to split the skin. The grain crusher should crush it just with enough power to prevent scratches or pips and stalks (structural support cluster) to break and contaminate the wine. The resulting slurry is transferred through a “pump” to the presses, without been in contact with air to prevent the start of fermentation. From here the process takes different paths whether wine has to red, white or rosse.
Fermentation is the process by which the sugars contained in the juice turns into alcohol, mainly, with other organics, and the must into wine. This fermentation is carried out by mediation of yeasts (micro fungi found in soil Vineyard) that will run out of air metabolizing sugars alcohol and carbon dioxide. Fermentation process changes whether we produce white, red or rosse but these are long processes that we will explain in different chapters due they need a long time to explain and understand, what is not the objective of this article.
Pressing (and devatting of wines)
This process consists in transfer the wine from fermentation tanks to other tanks where it will remain some time. The wine obtained in this operation is called run juice. Depending on when you do the racking wines are different, more or less suitable for aging. There are two types of racking, racking in hot and racking in cold. The hot racking is made when wine doesn?t need to contain large proportion of sugar and is often applied in certain quality wines to be marketed soon known as wines of the year, and hence depends on its hardness. The cold racking is done after fermentation has finished, resulting in an increase in the maceration of the skins which is usually ideal to obtain a wine that has to be subjected to long aging, when ?a wine getting strong, complex, long color and tannins.
Pressing: After performing the racking of wines solid parts, skins and seeds are returned to the press. Are pressed to remove as much as possible the most possible amount of wine, represents approximately 15% of the wine produced.
Depending on the grape or purpose, the wine is either bottled or taken to rest in oak barrels before bottling. This is the phase where most of the flavors and aromas, the characters of the wine develop and the process change depending if we want to have an aged wine, reserve wine or grand reserve wines, something that will be explained later on too.
The wine is now ready to be packaged and sent to a bottle shop near you.
Hope the reading has been interesting and you become more “fan” of wine…this is the main objective