Winemaking is the production of wine, starting with the selection of grapes and other produce, and ending with putting the delicious wine into bottles! Although wine is usually made from grapes, it may also be made from other fruits! Winemaking can actually be divided into 18 different categories….. Harvesting, destemming, crushing, primary (alcoholic) fermentation, pressing, pigeage, cold stabilization, heat stabilization, second fermentation, bulk aging, Malolactic fermentation, laboratory tests, blending, fining, preservatives, filtration, and last but not least, bottling! Lets now find out how to make wine! Harvesting
Harvesting is the picking of the grapes and the first step in wine production. The grapes are either harvested by hand or mechanically, the decision lies on the winemaker. Before harvesting, the winemaker checks the grapes for ripeness, flavor, seed color and taste, and lastly, the sugar level! Mechanical harvesters are large tractors that straddle grapevines, and with a rubber rod, strike the vine to get the grapes. Mechanical harvesters have the advantage of picking grapes in a short amount of time. The disadvantage is all the leaves and stems come with the grapes. Some smart winemakers take off the leaves with another machine before harvesting. Destemming
Destemming is the process of removing the stems from the grapes. This process may take place before, or after crushing, depending on the winemaker. If you harvest by hand, you can just skip this step altogether! Crushing
Crushing is when gently crushing the grapes and breaking the skin to start getting flavor. In traditional and small wineries the grapes are sometimes crushed by stomping on them. However, in large, more upscale wineries, the grapes are crushed by a large, mechanical, wine crusher. Primary (alcoholic) fermentation
Have you ever wondered what the powdery coating around grapes is? So have I! Yeast is what the powder is, which is useful...