How is fruity red wine made
This is how wine is made
Nature takes care of the ripening of the grapes. But what happens then? Now the human comes into play. Only with the skill and skill of the cellar master does the wine become what it is.
It becomes an appealing end product in terms of taste, smell, appearance and quality. Once the harvest is in, the grapes end up in the press houses.
Regardless of whether it is the old wine press of the hobby winemaker or large industrial plants of the winemaking cooperatives, the first step in winemaking is to extract the juice and separate the liquid from the solid components.
It starts with destemming
Destemming the grapes is all about removing the stems.
These are also called black horses. The stems are removed because they contain a lot of tannins. If the later wine contains too many tannins, it tastes bitter and leaves a dry taste on the tongue.
This step is particularly important for red wines. De-stemming can be dispensed with for white wines because the stems of the grapes are more lignified and contain fewer tannins.
The winemakers can also gain something positive from the tannins, which means that the wine has a longer shelf life.
From the grapes to the mash
No matter how the grape juice should ultimately look and be made, this process is always the same.
The grapes are ground. This creates a mushy pulp, consisting of the pulp, the stones and the stems, if they have not been removed as described above.
This mass is known as the mash. This process only gives red wine its color when the red dye is released from the skins. Because blue grapes actually have light-colored juice and can even be used to make white wines if they are processed before the must fermentation begins.
To give the red wine mash a particularly intense color, the mass is often additionally heated or subjected to high pressure.
Now the mash is separated into its solid and liquid components. Those skilled in the art refer to this as pressing.
Must is obtained from this. The oldest form of pressing may seem a bit unsavory to us today, as the grapes were trampled underfoot.
Today, machine systems take over this work. In large wine presses, around 50 tons of mash can be processed per hour. If the must weight falls below the specified weight, cane sugar is added.
German winemakers are only allowed to produce simple table or country wines from fortified musts. These wines cannot receive a predicate. The sugar is added to the must before fermentation.
The result is not automatically sweeter wines, but more alcoholic grape juice.
Alcoholic fermentation is decisive for winemaking. This depends on the one hand on natural factors and on the other hand can also be influenced by the cellar master.
The variety of grapes plays just as important a role as their degree of ripeness or the amount of sugar they contain. The fermentation can be slowed down by cooling. If yeasts are added, the fermentation process can be accelerated.
The process is stopped by adding alcohol. If particularly fruity wines are to be the result, fermentation must be carried out slowly.
In the case of sweet dessert wines, it is necessary to stop fermentation and if you want to receive sparkling wines, you have to initiate a second fermentation in a special process.
Young wine - a challenge for every winemaker
Young wine is like a diamond in the rough that only becomes what it is made of when it is properly cut.
So the cellar master still has a lot to do before he can really score points with his wines and lure connoisseurs out of the reserve.
Wine only stays fruity and fresh if it is made durable with sulfur after fermentation. Sulfur prevents oxidation of the wine when oxygen penetrates.
This is not a modern process, the Romans already made their wine durable in this way. The sulphurous acid is added in very small amounts and cannot be tasted in terms of taste and poses no health risk.
Due to the tannins they contain and the higher alcohol content, dry red wines are more durable than, for example, Beerenauslese.
Therefore, dry red wine is the least sulphurized. Young wine still has a certain amount of solid matter. The first racking is done about three weeks after fermentation.
The wine is decanted. The sediment remains in the starting vessel. A second tapping is carried out after about five weeks. Now the wine has taken on a clear color and is slowly becoming palatable.
The spontaneous fermentation of wine
Good wine has to mature
The young wine has gone through a turbulent phase.
Now it is time for him to calm down and mature. That doesn't happen in the bottles, but in barrels.
In Germany, this is preferably done in wooden barrels. Here the high-quality red and white wines have the opportunity to develop their very own character.
Light white wines also mature in plastic or stainless steel tanks. How long it takes to mature depends on the type of wine and the quality. Light and fresh white wines are bottled earlier than dark, heavy red wines.
After about four to nine months, the time has come for the wine to be bottled.
The wine is now drinkable, but not yet ripe. The grape juice continues to ripen in the bottle and ages sooner or later. Each type of wine has a different life expectancy.
The wines are usually closed with a cork. Today you can find simpler wines with a screw cap on the supermarket shelf. Wines that can be stored for a long time have long, fine-pored corks.
These should be moistened with moisture more often so that they do not dry out. This is one reason why connoisseurs keep wines lying flat. The only acceptable packaging material for a good wine is the glass bottle.
Large bottles age the wine more slowly, so it stays fresh longer. The most common bottling is the 0.75 liter bottle. The colors of the bottles have no influence on the quality of the wine.
Most red wine bottles are green. The Italians prefer to fill their wine in colorless bottles - but the main thing is and still will be the taste - for the good!
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