Winemaking is as old as a human civilisation during which it has been improved and embellished by humans. The winemaking process has relatively remained unchanged and has only been slightly improved upon with the advent of technology. In this article, we examine the winemaking process from start to finish.
This is the process of harvesting the grapes when they are ripe. Harvesting can be done mechanically or by hand. After the harvesting, the grapes are transported to the winery, where they are sorted and rotten or under-ripe fruits are removed before crushing.
Crushing and Pressing
This process involves the crushing of the whole clusters of fresh ripe grapes that have been picked. In the winery, mechanical crushers stomp or trod the grapes into what is known as must. Pressing the grapes mechanically improves the quality and longevity of wine while reducing the need for preservatives.
Fermentation is the process of allowing the must to ferment naturally within 6-12 hours with the aid of wild yeasts in the air. Some wineries and vineyards allow the natural phenomenon to run its full course, while some will intervene at this point by introducing a strain of yeast of personal choice to more readily predict the result.
This is the stage at which insoluble matter suspended in the wine after fermentation is removed before bottling. This matter may include dead yeast cells (lees), pieces of grape skin, pulp, stems and gums. Clarification and stabilisation may involve fining, filtration, centrifugation, flotation, refrigeration, and pasteurisation.
Aging and Bottling
This stage involves the aging and bottling of the wine. After clarification, the winemaker can bottle the wine immediately or give it additional aging. Further aging can be done in the bottle, stainless steel or ceramic tanks, large wooden ovals, or small barrels, commonly called barriques.
Winemaking is a ritual and custom that has survived thousands of years, and the wine is produced in the same sweet, savoury taste that you always enjoy. For more information, you can connect with us.