How is Wine Made?

How is Wine Made
Photo by Terry Vlisidis

How is wine made? Wine is the world’s most popular beverage, and it’s known as an art form. So you may be surprised to learn that wine comes from a relatively straightforward process of fermentation and aging. 

Even if you aren’t interested in making your wine, understanding how it’s made can help you pick the best bottles at the store.

Or enjoy your glass of wine more thoroughly! Here’s everything you need to know about your research on “how is wine made?”

Harvesting

The winemaking process begins with harvesting the grapes. The type of grape, as well as the climate, will affect the flavor of the wine. After harvesting, the grapes are crushed and fermented.

Nevertheless, the fermentation process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is then aged in barrels.

The length of time that the wine is aged will also affect its flavor. Finally, the wine is bottled and ready to be enjoyed, and know how wine is made further!

Crushing

The following step in how wine is made is crushing the grapes. This can be done by hand, but most winemakers use a machine called a crusher-destemmer.

The grapes are fed into the top of the device and gently crushed as they fall through to the bottom. The stems are also removed in this process. 

So, they make the wine bitter because their cells contain a lot of tannins. The resulting mixture will have lots of grape juice on one side and grape solids on the other.

To separate these two components, some grape juice is drawn off from time to time so that more solids accumulate at the bottom.

Moreover, when enough solids have collected, they are squeezed by a hydraulic press or foot pressure with an ancient tool called a pneumatic press (a long barrel that exerts considerable force when pushed). After this pressing process comes settling or de-gassing.

Here any remaining gas bubbles rise through the liquid while larger particles sink to the bottom so that only clear grape juice remains.

Juice Separation

While knowing how wine is made, it is necessary to know that wine is made from grapes. It Is to separate the juice from the grape skins. This process is followed after crushing and pressing, where red wine gets its color. White wine, on the other hand, doesn’t get its color from contact with grape skins. 

Must Treatment

After the grapes are harvested, they are crushed, and the juice is extracted. The fluid is then placed in a fermentation tank where yeast is added. The yeast eats the sugar in the liquid and converts it into alcohol. 

In contrast, the wine is then aged in barrels for some time before being bottled and sold. Some wines are produced using a second fermentation process known as barrel aging. 

In this process of how wine is made, the wine is fermented once in large steel tanks and again in smaller oak barrels. In both cases, the natural compounds from the wood react with the wine while adding tannins that create depth and structure to its flavor profile.

Fermentation

Wine is made through a process of fermentation. In simple terms, this is when yeast eats sugar and creates alcohol. But there’s a lot more to it than that!

Here’s a closer look at the fermentation process and how it turns grape juice into wine. After the juice is extracted, it’s time for fermentation. 

Nonetheless, this is when yeast is added to the juice and turns it into alcohol. The type of yeast used will determine what kind of wine is made. Once fermentation is complete, how is wine made?. Read further to check the next step.

Post-fermentation treatment

Post-fermentation treatment is an essential process in winemaking that can improve the quality and stability of the finished product.

After fermentation, wine is often treated with fining agents, filtration, and stabilization before it is bottled.

Post-fermentation treatment can remove unwanted flavors and aromas from the wine, improve its color, and make it more stable to age well. Fining agents are usually added to wine soon after fermentation is complete. 

Notwithstanding, these agents bind to unwanted particles in the wine and cause them to settle out of the liquid. Common fining agents include bentonite clay, egg whites, and gelatin. 

Malolactic Fermentation

Most red wines go through malolactic fermentation, or MLF for short. This is when bacteria convert the harsher malic acids in wine into softer lactic acids.

This changes the acidity of the wine and contributes to its overall flavor and mouthfeel. This also answers the question of how is wine made?.

More so, the process of MLF can sometimes be spontaneous, meaning that it can happen without any intervention from the winemaker. However, many winemakers will choose to control MLF to achieve specific results.

Clarification

Wine is made from grapes, and the type of grape will determine the kind of wine. White wines are made with white grapes, and red wines are made with red grapes. To make wine, the grapes are crushed and then fermented.

Yeast is added to the mixture, which eats the sugar in the grapes and turns it into alcohol. The wine is then aged in barrels, bottled, and sold.

Filtration

Filtration is another standard process of making wine, which helps remove sediment and other particulates from the wine. It is an integral part of the winemaking process. It helps to remove impurities from the wine and gives it an unmistakable appearance.

Nevertheless, the type of filtration used depends on the type of wine being made. White wines are usually filtered more than red wines. After filtration, the wine is ready to be bottled and enjoyed!

Centrifugation

Centrifugation is when grapes are crushed, and the juice is extracted. The juice is then put into a spinning container separating the grape’s solid and liquid parts. 

The solid parts are removed, and the liquid is left to ferment. Yeast is added to the liquid and is left to ferment for several weeks. The wine is then bottled and left to age.

Refrigeration

The winemaking process begins with picking the grapes and ends with bottling the finished product. Many steps can vary depending on the type of wine being made. 

One of the most critical steps in wine making wine is refrigeration. By keeping grape juice cool, they can slow down or stop yeast activity, which gives them more control over the final flavor of their wine.

Ion exchange

In winemaking, grape juice is placed in vats where it begins to ferment. The fermentation process is started by adding yeast which breaks down the sugars in the grape juice and produces alcohol. 

After a few weeks, the fermented grape juice is called wine. It is then ready to be bottled and enjoyed. 

However, before it can be bottled, some of the wine must undergo a process called ion exchange. Ion exchange is a way of removing specific ions from the wine that can cause it to spoil. The most common ion that is removed during this process is potassium. 

Potassium removal ensures that the wine will have a longer shelf life and will be less likely to spoil when stored for long periods.

Heating

Lastly, our quest for “how is wine made?” is through heating. Wine is made through a process of heating and fermentation.

The grapes are first heated, which breaks down the sugars and creates alcohol. Then, the must (the juice and skins of the grapes) is fermented. 

In addition, this process can take weeks or even months, depending on the type of wine being made. After that, wines must be stored in barrels for anywhere from three months to two years before they’re ready for consumption.

Conclusion

So, how is wine made? Grapes are picked and crushed, and the juice is fermented with yeast. The wine is then aged in barrels, bottled, and enjoyed!

The process may seem simple, but a lot goes into making a great bottle of wine. Above all, with careful planning and execution, you can make wine that’s sure to please any palate. 

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