The Winemaking Process at Make Wine With Us
Learn How We Make Wine at our Winemaking School
Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grape juice. Wines made from other fruits are always named accordingly. There are many steps in making and producing wine.
First, the grapes must ripen in the vineyard until they attain suitable sugar content and acidity.
The next step is fermentation. Crushed grapes are combined with special wine yeasts that will dominate over yeast that may have been acquired in the vineyard (on the grape surface, leaves, and stems) or in the winery environment (in tanks, barrels, hoses). The addition of this yeast culture ensures complete fermentation without the loss of odor and produces wine with consistent flavor quality.
Followed by yeast fermentation is a second fermentation by lactic acid bacteria. This fermentation is called a malolactic fermentation and during this process, lactic acid bacteria convert malic acid to lactic acid and CO2 , which results in lowered acidity. The bacteria also change the fruit flavor of wine and add some flavor compounds from their metabolism. Wine flavors can continue to change while the wine is stored in wooden barrels, stainless steel tanks, and in glass bottles. During this development of wine, various yeasts and bacteria can be present and further modify wine flavors. Different wines benefit from longer or only short aging.
Learn the Step by Step Winemaking Process :
Crushing the Grapes: Learn How Premium Wine Is Made
In our winemaking process the grapes are crushed and destemmed at the same time by a crusher-destemmer, consisting of a perforated cylinder containing paddles revolving at 600 to 1,200 revolutions per minute. The grapes are crushed and fall through the cylinder perforations and the stems pass out of the end of the cylinder. For white wines, the juice is separated from the skins and seeds immediately after crushing. The familiar method of crushing with the feet (Lucy Style) is rarely used today!
Pressing the Grapes:
First, the free run juice is pumped into the barrel prior to the crushed grapes which are placed by the winemakers into the press. In our process we use state of the art hydrolic presses, which forces the pressed juice out through the perforations and into the barrel.
Separation of the juice is simplified because fermentation makes the skins less slippery, and the amount of free run juice obtained is, therefore, much greater than for unfermented musts. Winemakers are tasting their wine at all stages of the press process.
Racking the wine:
Racking is the process by which the suspended material (yeast cells, particles of skins, etc.) are removed from the wine after fermentation. Some wines deposit their suspended material very quickly, and the supernatant wine remains nearly brilliant. This is particularly true when 50-gallon wooden barrels, which have greater surface-to-volume ratio than larger containers, are employed. The rough interior of wooden cooperage facilitates deposition of suspended material.
Bottling the wine:
This is the part you have been looking forward to all year, time to bottle your wine! The wine has gone through its process and is now ready to take home. You gather your family and friends to help you bottle your wine. This is a time of eating great food and sampling your wine.
You will be filling your bottles, corking them, heat shrinking a colorful capsule on the top and the final step...putting on your own personalized labels and taking your wine home to enjoy in the coming year.