Wine is the best company for a delicious dish, a good book, or a conversation. However, the preparation to reach this delicious elixir has several quite interesting steps, some of which require a lot of time to be preserved to achieve the desired aroma. Here’s the process.
This is the first step. The vintage is the grapes that contain all the colour, flavour, and acids to create an unforgettable wine. Harvesting is usually done by hand, and has gone on from generation to generation, and seems not to give in to the advancement of machines to maintain its classic consistency.
In the past, this process was done using the feet, but it is now done with machines to turn grapes into a “must”.
The must is fresh grape juice. The machines help to keep this “must” hygienic, with quality and longevity for the grapes. If white wine is made, the seeds and solids are separated to prevent them from seeping into the wine. For red wine, the solids and seeds are left in contact with the liquid to obtain more consistency.
Here, the “must” ferments naturally for 6 to 12 hours and cultured yeast is added. In this process, sugar is transformed into alcohol. If you want sweet wine, the winemakers stop the process in half to prevent all the sugar from being converted. This process takes at least one week for full fermentation.
In this process, the tannins, proteins, and dead yeast are removed from the wine. The wine is transferred to oak barrels or stainless-steel tanks. Filters are used to catch the larger particles. To clarify, some substances are added.
Once this process is finished, the wine is taken to another tank to be prepared for aging and bottling.
Aging, Bottling, and Tasting
This is the beginning of the end. Here, the wine can be bottled at once or given additional aging. For this, the wine is transferred to oak barrels, stainless-steel tanks or bottles.
Oak barrels are preferred by winemakers, as they give it a unique and indescribable flavour, very similar to vanilla. It helps the oxygen to penetrate the liquid making the tannins decrease and reach a better taste.
This is very different from white wines, as it is preferable to keep them in steel tanks. When this process is finished, the wine is bottled and ready to go to market.
The process of creating wine is a tradition that has been maintained over time. Its elegance at the moment of being bottled and the demanding selection of grapes makes wine the drink par excellence.