Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.

A tense final in Austria has seen one sommelier rise above rivals to be named the best in Europe and Africa.

Raimonds Tomsons, the best sommelier in Europe and Africa.
Raimonds Tomsons, the best sommelier in Europe and Africa.

Grand final in Austria produces one winner...

The post And the best sommelier in Europe and Africa is… appeared first on Decanter.


A tense final in Austria has seen one sommelier rise above rivals to be named the best in Europe and Africa.

Raimonds Tomsons, the best sommelier in Europe and Africa.
Raimonds Tomsons, the best sommelier in Europe and Africa.

Grand final in Austria produces one winner...

The post And the best sommelier in Europe and Africa is… appeared first on Decanter.

A tense final in Austria has seen one sommelier rise above rivals to be named the best in Europe and Africa.

Raimonds Tomsons, the best sommelier in Europe and Africa.
Raimonds Tomsons, the best sommelier in Europe and Africa.

Raimonds Tomsons, of Riga in Latvia, has been named the best sommelier in Europe and Africa after he beat rivals at the grand final held by the International Sommelier Association in Vienna.

The 36-year-old, head sommelier of Vincents restaurant in Riga beat 36 other candidates from 33 European and three African countries in the three rounds of the three-day event, which was hosted by the Austrian Sommelier Union.

It is no mean feat. Competitors had to navigate quarter- and semi-final rounds in the same week, before finalists went on to perform a range of tasks live on stage in front of more than 400 guests at a gala dinner in the ballroom of Vienna’s Parkhotel Schonbrünn.


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The on-stage challenges, all with tight time limitations, included simulated restaurant tableside settings at which wine pairings had to be suggested for specific food courses and informed descriptions of Japanese Sake had to be made.

Other challenges included blind wine tasting descriptions and the spotting and correcting of extensive wine list mistakes.

Tomsons was one of just four candidates who made it to the final.

Piotr Pietras of Poland came second, Julia Scavo of Romania third and France’s David Biraud came fourth.

Tomsons sommelier background includes 17 years of service at Vincents restaurant in Riga and four years as president of the Latvian Sommelier Association.

Vincents is well-known on the fine dining scene and claims to have served the UK’s Prince Charles, musician Sir Elton John and renowned chef Heston Blumenthal since opening in 1994.

‘We are wine fanatics in Latvia, in Riga,’ said Tomsons.

‘But to get to this point now involved tasting, tasting and more tasting every day, polishing skills, vocabulary and style, constantly reading and studying. It was a lot of hard work. And thankfully I had the support of my family.’

Annemarie Foidl, president of the Austrian Sommelier Union, added, ‘It is very exciting to see such incredible talent coming from non-traditional wine countries. The wine market is getting bigger and bigger today, and so is the talent.’

The next ‘best sommelier in the world’ competition is not likely to take place until 2019. Sweden’s Arvid Rosengren currently holds the title, after winning in Mendoza, Argentina, last year.

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Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.