Wine Making Process

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  • Topic: Wine, Oenology, Winemaking
  • Pages : 4 (1160 words )
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  • Published : February 6, 2013
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The Wine Making Process

Wine making has been around for thousands of years. In its basic form, wine making is a natural process that requires very little human intervention. Mother Nature provides everything that is needed to make wine; it is up to humans to embellish, improve, or totally obliterate what nature has provided, to which anyone with extensive wine tasting experience can attest. There are five basic components or steps to making wine: harvesting, crushing and pressing, fermentation, clarification, and aging and bottling. Undoubtedly, one can find endless deviations and variations along the way. In fact, it is the variants and little deviations at any point in the process that make life interesting. They also make each wine unique and ultimately contribute to the greatness or ignominy of any particular wine. The steps for making white wine and red wine are essentially the same, with one exception. The making of fortified or sparkling wines is also another matter; both require additional human intervention to succeed and at this time, will not be part of this discussion.

The Harvest
Harvesting or picking is certainly the first step in the actual wine making process. Without fruit there would be no wine, and no fruit other than grapes can produce annually a reliable amount of sugar to yield sufficient alcohol to preserve the resulting beverage, nor have other fruits the requisite acids, esters and tannins to make natural, stable wine on a consistent basis. For this reason and a host more, most winemakers acknowledge that wine is made in the vineyard, at least figuratively. In order to make fine wine, grapes must be harvested at the precise time, preferably when physiologically ripe. A combination of science and old-fashioned tasting usually go into determining when to harvest, with consultants, winemakers, vineyard managers, and proprietors all have their say. Harvesting can be done mechanically or by hand. However, many estates prefer to hand...
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