Monday, November 18, 2013

How To Make Red Wine?

How To Make Red Wine?
Black grapes are generally used in the production of red wine.  Traditionally, there are a few exceptions such as in Côte Rôtie where white Viognier grapes are added to black Syrah grapes to ferment together producing a full-bodied but fragrant red wine.
Harvest / Crush
Black grapes are picked, with options open to a winemaker to de-stem or not, before being crushed.  Sorting is a common practice with high quality wine production, and it is either done by hands or nowadays, by advanced optical sorting machine.
A short period of cold-soaking of skin and pips in juice may follow depending on the winemaker.  Fermentation usually begins around 20°C and temperature may rise as high as 35°C and could last roughly 1 to 3 weeks.  High temperature may extract deeper color, more flavors as well as more tannin whereas cooler and faster fermentation produces lighter and more delicate wines.  During fermentation, techniques such as punching down of the cap (pips and skins that float to the top) or pumping over (diverting juice from the bottom to be sprayed over the cap) are used to help color and flavor extraction.  Some common fermentation vessels include stainless steel tanks, wood barrels, and concrete vats.
After fermentation is complete, free-run wine is drawn off and the remaining skin, pulps and wine are pressed.  The free-run wine and press wine are then transferred to another vessel to undergo malolactic fermentation (where the stringent malic acid is transformed into the softer lactic acid) and maturation.
Blending / Maturation
Different grape varieties, grapes sourced from different plots of land, or different fermentation batches may be blended before undergoing maturation.  Some fresher and lighter wines may not require much ageing.  Fuller and more complex wines tend to undergo longer period of ageing, often in oak barrels but may also be in tank.
Clarification / Bottling
Finished wines may go through fining and/or filtering for further clarification before bottling.  Some red wines that have undergone extended ageing and racking regimen may appear quite clear and some winemakers elect to skip these steps.
Bottle Ageing
Many great red wine producers may continue to age the bottled wines for a certain period of time before release.  This is an expensive process but the resultant wines tend to gain complexity and further integration.  Many of the greatest red wines of the world such as Barolo, Bordeaux and Rioja are required by law to age for a certain period of time in bottle prior to release.

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