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This blog site includes news on latest wines, food, events, offers and happenings at artisan & vine. It also includes stories of my wine adventures in and outside the bar, wine facts and wine profiles.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Wine Facts: How Wine is Made

As you’re reading this blog, you are probably already aware that there are a lot of variations in the important little steps to how a wine is made. This little article is aimed at giving you a summary of the key steps in making wine. By analogy, this guide is like saying the way to get from London to Edinburgh is to go North; options of train vs car vs stopovers vs B-roads vs etc etc are the sorts of “details” we’re skimming over.

The overview remains of import: there’s a lot to be said for knowing which way is North! The steps:

1. Grapes are picked and collected.

2. For white wines, the grapes are pressed so that the skins are left behind and just the grape juice ferments. For red wines, the grapes are left with their skin on to ferment, and then after the colour and flavours have been extracted, the red grapes are pressed to leave behind skin. (Fermentation is the process by which sugars in the grape are converted to alcohol).

3. Wines – whether red or white – may be aged in some kind of holding device – a bottle, a barrel, a tank. Wines can be aged for months or years or not at all.

4. Wines are bottled and labeled for distribution and sale.
Seems as simple as travelling North… the art is navigating the traffic jams, road works and then optimising lovely scenery and local peculiarities along the way!

Image: renowned winemaker Matthieu Cosse shows me some of the incredible new infrastructure they have in place at Domain La Coste in Provence where they are refining the science of natural wine making.

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