From Vine to Bottle – The Process of Winemaking

The art of winemaking is one of the oldest in the book. Thought to have originated in the country of Georgia in 6000 BC, wine has been consumed by humankind for thousands of years.

Harvest

First, the grapes are harvested, or picked, when they are ripe. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand, with the latter being the more desirable choice in order to avoid being too rough with the grapes. Once picked, the grapes are then transported to the winery to sort through them and remove any rotten or under-ripe fruit before crushing.

Crushing & Pressing

Once the grapes have been sorted and de-stemmed, they are crushed using machinery to ensure it is executed properly and hygienically. Mechanical crushing has also been known to improve the quality and longevity of wine, and also reduces the need to use preservatives.

Fermentation

Fermentation is the step in the winemaking process in which the sugars in the grapes are converted into alcohol and a dry wine is produced. The length of time it takes to ferment grapes varies, taking anywhere from 10 days to a month or more. Sweeter wines take less time to ferment, as the fermentation process is stopped before all of the sugar has turned into alcohol.

Ageing

The ageing process can vary in length depending on the style of wine in question. Typically, fresh, fruity white wines and blush varieties are not aged as long as dry reds, which can develop a more sophisticated flavor profile the longer they are aged. The goal for most winemakers is to develop a well-balanced bottle of wine that has been aged for the appropriate amount of time.

Bottling

The final step in the winemaking process is bottling, in which the wine is either bottled and immediately enjoyed, or left to age even longer within the bottle.

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