Wine making or vinification has been considered seriously for centuries. It is not only deemed as an art but science too. Wine making or vinification is a natural process that needs a little intervention by humans, but each wine maker goes through different techniques of making wine. Generally, there are five basic components of vilification— harvesting, crushing and pressing, fermentation, clarification, and aging and bottling. Sometimes, these processes may vary too, in order to make the wine unique in its own way.
It ensures your wine is delicious. Grapes are the only fruits on the planet which have appropriate amount of acids, esters, and tannins to produce a natural wine. Tannins add to the dryness, bitterness, and astringency to the wine. It can be done manually or mechanically. Once they are taken to the winery, they are classified into bunches, and rotten grapes are eliminated.
- Crushing and Pressing
After the sorting, they are de-stemmed and crushed. It was done manually by stomping the grapes with their feet in the older days. Now, it is done with the help of a machine. The stomping and trodding done by the machine is called must. Must is just the freshly pressed grape juice containing skins, seeds, and solids. Mechanical process ensures the longevity and quality of the wine. In the case of white wine, the grapes are quickly crushed and pressed to separate juice from the skins, seeds, and solids. This keeps the unwanted color at bay and tanning from leaching into the wine. Whereas, in the case of red wine, is kept in contact with the skins to gain color, flavour and additional tannins.
After crushing and pressing, the next step is fermentation. The must or juice initiate the fermenting organically within – to 12 hours when helped with wild yeasts in the air. But, many wine makers add a commercial yeast to maintain the consistency and predict the end result. The fermenting continues till all of the sugar is transcended into alcohol and dry wine is produced. To produce a sweet wine, wine makers put the process to halt before all the sugar is transformed.
Once the fermentation is done, the process of clarification begins. It is a process in which solids like dead yeast cells, tannins, and proteins are eliminated. The wine is shifted or racked into a different container like an oak barrel or a stainless steel tank. The wine is filtered with the help of fining or filtration. Fining happens when elements are added to the wine to clear it.
- Aging and Bottling
A wine maker has two options—bottle it right away or give it additional aging. Further again can be implemented in the bottles, stainless steel tanks or oak barrels. It also increases it exposure to oxygen white it ages and help it reach its optimal fruitiness.