Do you know what magic goes into turning a humble fruit into a delicious and sumptuous wine?We’re here to enlighten you! This article will follow the journey of a grape from the vineyard to the bottling plant, ultimately making it to the market shelves, ready to be bought and gulped down in a day or weeks, whatever suits you!
Well! Grapes have to go through various processes to be made into fine wine. Let’s take a look:
1. Selection & Sorting
The first step in the making of wine is the harvesting of grapes. Some vineyards prefer to use big machines that can quickly pluck out all the grapes from the vines, while some prefer to do it manually.
After they get destemmed from the yard, the grapes reach a sorting table, where manual labor goes into sort good grapes from the bad ones along with stem, seed, leaves and other unwanted parts. After getting sorted the good grapes are then sent straight into a machine which further sorts them and makes them ready for the next process.
2. Red Wine or White Wine?
After the process of selection is over, grapes can either be made into red wine or white wine. The making of red wine requires fermentation of intact grape, while the white one is made by pressing down the fruit, removing the juice from the pulp.
White wine: Grapes get transferred to a separate container that contains a press. After the press does its work, grapes gets crushed and dislodged from it. Now the pure juice gets filtered and transferred into a separate container for further processing.
Red wine: In case of red wine, the grapes go through a somewhat different process. Grapes do get crushed but lightly. The juice is not separated from the pulp. The mashed grapes are then sent straight to the next process. Keeping the skin is the main reason behind the wine’s red colour.
Fermentation is the next step in the process of making wine. Segregated grapes are then fermented by adding yeast to them. Some winemakers prefer the use of yeast nutrient Diammonium Phosphate(pictured below) before starting fermentation. This helps to bolster the process of fermentation.
In case of white wines, the fermentation directly takes place to produce white wine but in case of red wine, the grapes are then sent to the pressing machine after the process of fermentation has taken place. This results in the extraction of rich red colour wine.
They say the older the wine, the better it tastes. How true! After the process of fermentation, the wine gets transferred to wooden barrels. It is here that the wine is left to rest and age. It usually takes about 6 months to 3 years of time for the wine to mature. During the process, red wine goes through regular inspection. The wine is exposed to oxygen so that its ageing process can be hastened.
5. Bottling of the wine
When the wine has aged, it is then moved out of the traditional wine cellar to be sent to a bottling plant. Here wine is transferred to big tanker so that it can be filled under pressure into a bottle where it gets sealed tight. It can be done either manually or by mechanical means.