Monday, November 1, 2010

Handy Flow Chart

Some people have asked me for a summary of the winemaking process, so I've put together a pretty basic flowchart that illustrates the major steps (click on image for larger size):

This flowchart summarizes the winemaking process for
grapes with high sugar content.  For cooler grape
growing regions, the process is slightly different

NOTE:  This is a general flowchart, so before sending me hatemail with comments such as "sometimes you DO de-stem white grapes, dumbass!" let me clarify a few things:

1 - This flowchart is for warm growing regions (such as California, Southern France, Australia, etc.). For cooler regions (Finger Lakes in NY, Germany, Canada) the process may be different. Instead of adding water, for example, winemakers may need to add sugar.

2 - While white grapes are often pressed without de-stemming, some grape varietals require different processes. Still, most while grapes are pressed immediately and the skins are discarded. Only the juice is used to make wine. Red wines, however, require that the juice and skins stay in contact for a long period of time.

3 - Some winemakers don't add yeast to ferment their grapes. They use "native fermentation" and the yeast that develops in the must is naturally-occuring. We use yeast and I will discuss the many steps involved in that process in future posts.
4 - The flowchart is simplified and some steps are purposely missing.  For example, addition of SO2, addition of nutrients during fermentation, fining and filtering before bottling, blending before bottling, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment