3 minutes read
After red wine making, now it's the white wine it's turn. Bit different process, with the pressing first.
When the wine maker thinks the grapes are fully grown, the harvest starts. This can be done by machine or by hand, with the latter to most expensive. All the grapes are collected in crates & transferred to the winery ASAP.
When arrived at the winery, the grapes are emptied on a conveyor belt & checked by people for removal of any rotten grapes. The good grapes will then fall into the destemmer, a machine that split the grapes from their stem. The perfect looking grapes will then be transferred to press.
The grapes are then gently pressed to let the juice to escape & to separate the skins from the must. The must is then transferred to a fermentation vessel wherein most of the time yeast is added. The skins are discharged.
The grapes are all put together in the fermentation vessel. Here fermentation takes place where the temperature is between 12-22C to preserve those fruity flavours. The fermentation process will run for around 2-4 weeks.
As said, yeast is sometimes added to start the fermentation. Some grapes will ferment themselves, as the skin of the grapes contain natural yeast. It up to the wine maker’s decision to add yeast, creating this natural occurrence whereby the yeast will eat the sugars in the grapes, resulting in alcohol (& heat).
The wine can then go 2 ways, not being matured (unoaked) and goes straight into the bottle after filtering OR matured (oaked).
The juice can mature in different barrels or vats. Common methods are the use of wooden barrels, stainless steel tanks or even concrete eggs. During the maturation a chemical reaction occurs in the wine. When matured in oak, oxygen will ‘’breath’’ through the veins of the oak barrel.
It’s called malolactic fermentation, whereby the malic (harsh acidity) turns into lactic (smooth acidity). The wine will smoothen out & tastes creamier & develops flavours like vanilla. The time of maturation can differ from a couple of months to years.
When matured in airtight stainless steel tanks, nothing much in the wine will change. When this wine is bottled, the chemical reaction will continue & will turn the fresh fruity flavours in more cooked ones, as the volume of the wine in a bottle is smaller than in tank.
If not matured, the wine is filtered what makes the wine bright & clear & to remove any microbial spoilage.
The final stage is to bottle the wine, label it & ship it off to the thirsty wine lovers across the world. Like mentioned before, the wine is still ‘’alive’’ & inside the chemical reaction will continue until the wine is drunk.