From Grapes to Wine
The process of making wine from grapes, also called vinification or winemaking, has been around for many thousands of years. Winemaking is a process as old as the brewing ofbeer or the baking of bread. In the modern world, winemaking supports many economies, such as those of Australia and New Zealand, Chile and Argentina, France, Spain, Italy, and the USA. A person whoparticipates in winemaking is called a winemaker. There is no fixed "recipe" for making certain wines, only general guidelines. The winemaker "guides" the winemaking process using a variety of techniquesto best express his or her style in each wine. This essay explains the five main stages of the winemaking process.
This is certainly the first step in the process of making wine.Without fruit would be no wine. Grapes must be harvested in the precise time, in order to make a good wine, when fruit is physiologically ripe so contains enough sugar that will be later transformed intoalcohol. Harvesting can be done mechanically or by hand. Once grapes arrive at the winery, winemakers will sort the grape bunches, culling out rotten or under ripe grapes before crushing.
The next step in the winemaking process is traditionally crushing the whole clusters of fresh ripe grapes. Today, mechanical crushers perform the time-honored tradition of stomping thegrapes into what is commonly referred to as must. Mechanical pressing has also improved the longevity and quality of wine and also reduces the winemakers need for preservatives.
Thisis the most important step in the making of wine. After crushing, the juice from the grapes is put into the fermentation vats, where alcoholic fermentation takes place. It can require from ten days toa month or more for the sugar to be converted into alcohol. Sweet wine is produced when the fermentation process stops before all the sugar has been converted into alcohol.
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