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.

Our expert explains everything...

Assyrtiko oak

Can it be oaked...?

The post Can Assyrtiko be oaked? – ask Decanter appeared first on Decanter.


Our expert explains everything...

Assyrtiko oak

Can it be oaked...?

The post Can Assyrtiko be oaked? – ask Decanter appeared first on Decanter.

Our expert explains everything...

Assyrtiko oak

Assyrtiko: oaked or not?

P McGlynn, Edinburgh, asks: I was at a dinner with friends and they served a wine blind before dinner.

I thought it might have been Sauvignon Blanc, but there were definitely toasty, woody notes.

It turned out to be Assyrtiko, which confused me, as I thought it was only unoaked. Are oaked versions becoming more fashionable?

Joanna Simon replies: It was a good guess! The variety’s powerful mineral character, citrus intensity and high acidity could easily be taken for Sauvignon Blanc.

As for oak, most Greek Assyrtikos are unoaked, but fermenting and/or ageing in oak isn’t new.


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Two of the Assyrtiko-based wine classifications for Santorini actually prescribe oak ageing: a minimum of 24 months for the sweet Vinsanto and three months for the bone-dry Nykteri, but many of the producers of oaked dry Assyrtiko today don’t use the Nykteri classification.

If anything, oak is being used a little less than a few years ago, or at least more sensitively.

There are still some heavy-handed examples, but far fewer than before.

Applied carefully, oak works well with Assyrtiko: it can add depth and breadth plus toasty flavours that complement Assyrtiko’s piercingly intense flavour profile and high acidity.

Joanna Simon is an award-winning wine writer, speaker, author and judge. For more on Greek Assyrtiko, look out for Joanna Simon’s Expert’s Choice feature in the August issue of Decanter. 


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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.