In general, every harvest includes these basic vine-to-wine steps:
- Pick the grapes
- Crush the grapes
- Ferment the grapes into wine
- Age the wine
- Bottle the wine
Pick the grapes
- The grapes are collected in bins
- The grapes are either cut from the vine by human hands (we obtain whole bunches) or they are removed by a machine (only grapes, no stems). This affects quality, different varieties, their skin thickness, vary in suitability for machine harvest.
Crush the grapes
- White Wine: The white grapes are transferred into a pneumatic press. The grapes are pressed to extract the juice and leave behind the grape skins. The juice is then transferred into tanks where it settles, clarifies. After a settling period, the juice is then “racked”, which means it’s filtered out of the settling tank into another tank before fermentation starts.
- Red Wine: Red wine grapes are commonly destemmed and lightly crushed. Grapes, along with their skins, go straight into a vat to start fermentation on their skins. This is what imparts the red color into red wine
- it is a transformation of grape sugars, glucose and fructose, into alcohol by yeast Saccharomyces, in the process CO2 and heat is released
- red and white wines: natural yeast or commercial yeast is added to the vats
- red wines: CO2 is released during fermentation which causes the grape skins to rise to the surface forming cap, pump overs or punch downs are used to help extraction, skin contact
- red wines: the grapes are pressed after fermentation is complete. After racking to clarify the wine, the reds will spend several months aging in barrels.
Ageing of wine
- Aging for several years vs. several months
- Aging in stainless steel vs. oak American or French
- When the winemaker feels a wine has reached its full expression in aging, then it’s time to bottle the wine for consumption