Some people are so serious about wine that the pleasure’s gone. Others say things about wine which aren’t true. Here are the basics on wine simply explained.
1. Making wine
The making of wine is not easy to explain. In France they say there are as many wines as vineyards.
Each winemaker gives his personal touch before, during and after the vinification process.
Each of the below aspects has its influence on the taste and quality of the wine :
* The selection of the land plot
* The climate (and the date of harvest)
* The selection of the grape variety
* The type of fermentation tanks or casks
* The temperature during fermentation
* The duration of fermentation
* The type of casks in which the wine ripens
Nobody can pretend there is only one single way of making wine. This fact contributes to the charm of wine and is also the cause of the enormous diversity in wines. Winemaking demands “savoir-faire” and experience.
A winemaker is not only a craftsman, but also an artist.
The following aspects give an idea of what winemaking involves :
1. Planting (or grafting) the grapevine
2. Developing the racemes
3. Harvesting the grapes
4. Destemming* and crushing the grapes in a stainless steel container
5. Alcoholic fermentation of the must
6. “Maceration” : building of taste and colour*
8. “Malolactic” fermentation
* : mainly for red wine
Must : this is the juice obtained by crushing the grapes
Alcoholic fermentation : the juice becomes wine by the natural influence of yeasts which transforms sugar into alcohol Cabernet Sauvignon Wine
Maceration : the solids, the “pomace”, like skin, stems and seeds, give their taste and colour to the must
Raking : the “pomace” and the must are separated. The must becomes “vin de goutte”, the “pomace” becomes “vin de presse”
“Malolactic” fermentation : by the working of natural bacteria, the sharp “malic” acids are transformed in flexible and stable lactic acids
Ripening : the wine is filtered and transferred to casks in order to stabilize and come to perfection.