The wine making process
Step 1. The grapes are harvested
The goal for most fine wines is achieved by the ripeness of the grapes. Long before the harvesting has even begun, winemakers make decisions that dictate the types of wine, style, and character that they would like the finished product to reflect.
Most grapes are still picked by hand to avoid damaging the grapes. Although this is a long process, it accounts for a much finer product. Taking the vintage into account is an important process to determine which times are best to start harvesting. It can affect the level of alcohol, sugar, and acidity of the wine.
Step 2. Grapes are sorted
Once harvested, the grapes are sorted to remove stems and leaves that may still be intact after the harvesting period. Some vineyards again choose to do this process by hand rather than utilizing equipment to speed the process along. There are some arguments around which process is better. On one hand, the grapes may be damaged by the machines and on the other hand, with this process taking such a long time to complete by hand, it runs the risk of grapes in the vineyard rotting if they are left too long before harvesting.
Step 3. Grapes are crushed
Once upon a time the crushing process was done in large barrels and crushed by foot. These days the crushing process is almost always done by machines. The crushed grape skins and juices are then put into a large tank to ferment.
Step 4. Adding the yeast
Yeast is added into the vats so that the fermentation process can begin. For red wines, however, carbon dioxide is released during the fermentation process which causes the grape skins to rise to the surface. Red wines are also presses after the fermentation process is complete to clarify the wine. They may be left for several months gaining in barrels.
5. The aging process:
Many of the decisions made in this process come down to what sort of wine the makers are trying to concoct. The flavours may become more intense due to a number of reasons such as:
Aging for several years opposed to several months
Aging in stainless steel compared to Oak barrels
Aging in new oak vs old or used oak barrels
6. The bottling of the wines
When the winemaker is content with the aging process and believes the wine has reached its full expression of flavour and is ready for consumption it can be bottled. This process is done in factories transferring the liquid into bottles to be sealed and labelled.
Final Step: Enjoying
If you like wine and would like to understand more about it, Left Bank Melbourne has a unique opportunity for you.
On the 21st of March, 2019 Only!
We will receive the visit of Ned Goodwin to our venue for a Fine Wine and 5-Course Menu Experience.
Ned is one of but eight Masters of Wine in Asia and the first in Japan. Ned has chosen a path in wine that has encompassed work as a sommelier, educator, show judge, and consultant.
Enjoy an intimate evening showcasing the art of marrying fine wine and Yarra Valley produce.
If you are interested visit your event page for more information.