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VINIFICATION EXPLAINED

WINE MAKING. HOW THEY DO IT.

Fermentation, (in regards to wine production), is the process through which grape juice transforms into an alcoholic beverage called wine. During fermentation, yeasts consume the natural sugars in the juice to produce alcohol & carbon dioxide as a by-product. Yeast is naturally present on the skin of grapes. By simply crushing grapes enough to open the grape’s skin, (exposing sugars inside the grape to external yeast cells found on the skin), fermentation will occur. This is most likely how wine was first developed. The technical term for “grape juice” in winemaking is “must”.

When making wine, the temperature and rate of fermentation are important variables as well as the must’s (juice’s) oxygen levels prior to beginning. The risk of fermentation delay and the possibility of one or more wine faults can also occur during this stage (which can last anywhere from five to fourteen days). Secondary fermentation can take another five to ten days. Fermentation can be done in stainless steel vats (like those used for many white wines such as Riesling), in uncovered wooden tanks, inside wine barrels, or even inside wine bottles as is standard in the production of many sparkling wines. Want to learn more?

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