Wine making has existed for over thousands of years now. The process has been handed down from generations to generation. The wine production is a natural process that needs tiny intervention from a human. It’s amazing how Mother Nature works and how it provides for everything that human needs to survive – well, wine is a bonus from her. It is all up to humans how to care and nurture for the gift given to us.
There are five simple steps in making and processing grape into wine. The most basic step is harvesting, crushing and pressing, fermentation, clarification, and aging and bottling.
The most basic step in the wine making process. It is a crucial step to ensure a good tasting grape as it entirely depends on the fruit whether or not the wine will be a success. Today, grapes are the only fruit that possesses the necessary acids, esters, and tannins which are needed to make natural and stable wine. Tannin is a key agent and character of the grape to make the wine dry and add the perfect bitterness and astringency to the wine. Fully grown grapes will determine the resulting taste of the wine from its acidity, sweetness, and flavoring of the wine.
Crushing and Pressing
After harvesting the grape, they are now ready for de-stemming and crushed. This is the process that you probably already saw on television or elsewhere where man and woman would put the grape in a large basin and stomp on the grape with their bare feet. Today those technological advancements have been implied; most grape growers are now doing this process mechanically. The mechanical process will stop the grapes into what is also known must – this is the fresh result of pressed grape juice that includes the skins, seeds, and solids. This process has also given improvements to sanitation and an increase in the longevity of the quality of the wine.
This process starts with the juice naturally within 6-12 hours. The must will be aided with wild yeasts in the air. Many winemakers add commercially cultured yeast to add consistency and predicted the result. At Blue Grouse Vineyard, the natural process is only followed.
After fermentation comes to the clarification. From the name of this step itself, clarification is the process wherein solids such as dead yeast cells, tannins, and proteins are removed. Wine is then transferred to a different container, an oak barrel or a stainless steel tank. The resulting product can be further clarified through fining and filtration.
Aging and Bottling
This is the final stage of wine making. There are two options one can do to this one last final step: put the wine in the bottle right away or age the wine furthermore to bring out the more tasteful character of the wine. Aging makes the wine smoother, rounder, and more vanilla flavored wine.
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