• Facebook
  • Twitter

Wine has been the drink of choice for millions of years. It’s been around as long as people have–perhaps before, but the earliest known production was around 5,000 BC. Fruit has always naturally fermented and as a result, it becomes an alcohol. All cultures have incorporate wine from one time or another, and modernized it to become not only a drink of medicine, but also one of recreation. But how is wine made on a typical vineyard? The process is actually pretty simple.

First, grapes grape-stompare grown and harvested. It should be known that not all wine must come from grapes. Most do, but many wines can be made out of other harvest fruit to give more fruit flavor, like raspberries, cranberries, or apples. Just as you probably know, vineyards are where grapes are grown, and then picked. Most vineyards begin growing white grapes first, and then move on to the red varities as they grow. After these grapes are fully grown, they’re picked (either by man or machine) and then brought to a crushing pad.

Then, grapes are picked and crushed. Once picked, these grapes are de-stemmed and then crushed. Stomping on grapes is an old tradition. While some vineyards may still practice stomping on grapes in order to crush them, many have resorted to less messier and more efficient methods. In most cases, workers will sort the grapes first to rid of any bad ones that may have made it in the bunch. During the crushing process, a machine peels their skins and removes their seeds and crushes them into a juice texture so the fermentation process can begin.

There is a slight difference between how white wine and red wine are made.

White Wine: Before white grapes can begin their fermentation process, a machine must first press the grapes to fully extract all the juices. Then the pure juice is separated into a filter and then another chamber to begin the fermentation process.

Red Wine: Grapes of the red variety typically begin their fermentation process immediately after harvest. Once lightly crushed, the process begins. This gives wine its red color.

Lastly, the grapes ferment into wine. If you’re unfamiliar with what fermentation means, to put it simply, it’s the process in which the sugars convert to alcohol. While there isn’t just one technique, the process happens usually in the same manner. For white wine, yeast is simply added to the vats. This also happens with red wines, with two addtional steps. Carbon dioxide is then released during fermentation to allow the skins to rise to the surface. The grapes are then pressed after fermentation is complete.

Finally, allow the wine to age. Once the process is complete, the wine (most commonly red) will age in barrels for several months before bottling and selling.

This is a guest post from Wine Country Inn, a St. Helena Bed and Breakfast Hotel in Napa Valley, California.

Categories: Random Ramblings

Comments are closed.