Wine making involves five main steps. Of course, one can find small intermediate steps at any stage of the process which make each wine unique and contribute, ultimately, to the size or the particular quality of all wines.
The steps to realise the different types of wines, are essentially the same with some exceptions.
To make good wine, the grapes must be harvested, preferably when they are physiologically mature. A combination of science and tasting is often used to determine the ideal time for the harvest, making often involves people outside the operation such as consultants.
Harvesting can be done mechanically or by hand. However, many prefer operating hand picked, since the mechanical harvesters can often be too harsh on the grapes and the vineyard, and damage the grapes.
Once the grapes arrive in the wine cellar, wine producers sort the grapes, to remove the rotten fruit, or that are not mature enough, before grinding.
2. CRUSHING AND PRESSING
Today, the use of mechanical mills replaced the traditional stomping of the grapes. Using mechanical presses, a huge health gain is taken in the manufacture of wine, while improving the quality and longevity of wine, and reducing the need for preservatives.
However, it should be noted that grinding does not necessarily follow the harvest. Sometimes winemakers choose to wear to the fermentation of grapes uncrushed whole grapes, so to enjoy the natural weight of the grapes and tear the skins of uncrushed grapes before pressing.
Until grinding and pressure, the steps to the white wine and red wine are essentially the same. However, if a grower must make white wine, it will press quickly, just after grinding to separate the skins juice.
Naturally, the juice begins to ferment naturally within 6 to 12 hours after its extraction, driven wild yeasts in the air, this natural fermentation is popular. However, for various reasons, many winemakers prefer to intervene at this stage by killing wild and sometimes unpredictable natural yeasts, by injecting a yeast of personal choice, to provide more easily.
Regardless of the path chosen, once fermentation begins, it usually continues until all the sugar is converted into alcohol and a dry wine is produced. Fermentation may require ten days to a month or more.
There are two types of fermentation: alcoholic fermentation and the malolactic fermentation.
The purpose of clarification is to remove all waste and residues of wine before bottling. Winemakers can choose between technical filtering or bonding. While the first method is to use a filter that will keep debris, the second method is to introduce into the wine substances that will adhere to the unwanted solids and force them to settle in the bottom of the tank.
5. AGEING AND BOTTLING
After clarification, the winemaker has the choice of a wine bottle immediately, or give it an extra ageing. Ageing can be done in the bottle, in stainless steel tanks or ceramics, or in wooden barrels.
The choices and technical options in this final stage of the process are almost endless, as are the final results.