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Home Wine Making Wine Making and Bottling

Wine Making and Bottling

The classical wine grape growing art is known as viticulture. This art is a part of its own type of science. The practitioners of this art form are known as vintners. The goal is to move from growing grapes to bottling wine and end up with a product people will enjoy.

The first guideline is that dark, rocky soils make the best growing conditions. The rocks help the water drain at a moderate pace, while the dark soil keeps the roots warm. It may also be beneficial to have a hilly landscape that blends shade and sun time during the day, depending on the climate of the region. If the soil does not contain adequate levels of nitrogen, you may need to add it to your soil.

When you have many vineyards with basically the same growing conditions, the growing conditions of this collective group can be referred to as a terroir. Typically, the types of wine grapes you grow will depend on this terroir. Likewise, your growing season will be impacted by this terroir.

Upon harvesting, you will process your grapes through a crusher. The output is your must, which is basically a mixture of the ground up components of your grapes. The must runs through a perforated drum that rotates. The perforations allow the juice and skin to separate from the rest of the must.

If you're doing red wine, you'll send the juice and skins on to fermentation tanks. If you're doing white wine, you'll send the juice and skins on to the wine press. This wine press is a rubber bladder that can be inflated and a stainless-steel tank. The point is to separate the skins from the white grape juice. Before sending it on to the fermentation tanks.

The fermentation tanks are usually 1,500 to 3,000 gallon tanks that are kept at about 4 degrees Celsius. It is here that sugar and yeast are added. During the glycolysis phase, the yeast and glucose undergo diffusion. It is at this point that the alcohol forms over the course of four weeks or less.

When the ratios measure properly, the fermentation has finished. Red wine then has its skins removed at the press and then the yeast filtered out. You can also do a second fermentation of the red wine at this point. The white wine is already complete at fermentation, only needing yeast removed. However, both wines can have their flavors improved through an aging process in an oak barrel or steel tank for a period between 3 months and 3 years.

Now you're ready to bottle your wine. Modern vintners use automated processes to move the wine from the tanks into bottles. But, this doesn't detract from the personal interest taken in the process.