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.

One of the largest collections of 18th Century Madeira in the US and including wines imported in 1796 has been unearthed during a restoration project in New Jersey.

madeira wine cellar
Madeira wines imported to America in 1796 found in museum cellar.

Stash includes bottles dating to 1796...

The post Centuries-old Madeira wines found in US cellar appeared first on Decanter.


One of the largest collections of 18th Century Madeira in the US and including wines imported in 1796 has been unearthed during a restoration project in New Jersey.

madeira wine cellar
Madeira wines imported to America in 1796 found in museum cellar.

Stash includes bottles dating to 1796...

The post Centuries-old Madeira wines found in US cellar appeared first on Decanter.

One of the largest collections of 18th Century Madeira in the US and including wines imported in 1796 has been unearthed during a restoration project in New Jersey.

madeira wine cellar
Madeira wines imported to America in 1796 found in museum cellar.

Madeira wines dating back to just after the American War of Independence were discovered in a cellar during restoration work at Liberty Hall Museum in New Jersey. Liberty Hall is a registered national historic landmark and part of Kean University.

Three cases of the Madeira discovered contained wines imported in 1796, according to bottle labels, while other bottles are from the early 19th Century. Each cases contained 12 bottles.

It is thought to be one of the most significant discoveries of wine from this era in the US.

‘We were blown away,’ said Bill Schroh Jr, director of operations at Liberty Hall Museum. ‘We know of other people who found single bottles of Madeira from this era, but not three cases.’

madeira 1796

Madeira was shipped to the US in demijohns and bottled at destination – in this case, in Philadelphia. Credit: Liberty Hall Museum.

Madeira wines were popular in America during this period and it was standard practice for wines to be shipped in ‘demijohn’ glass containers for bottling at a later stage.

Most of the Madeira arrived at Liberty Hall with the Livingston family, following a move from Philadelphia, according to a surviving ‘removals list’ from the era, Schroh told Decanter.com.

The residence was owned almost continuously by the Livingston family and its descendants in the Kean family from the late 18th Century until 1995, when the latest generation turned it into a museum. John Kean is president of Liberty Hall and himself a family member.

Wines in the Liberty Hall cellar have been largely untouched for more than half-a-century.

‘The wine cellar hadn’t been touched since 1949,’ said Schroh, explaining that more recent family residents were not big drinkers.

The wines were discovered as part of an ongoing restoration project, which last year saw the museum team enter the cellar and do an inventory of its contents.

None of the Madeira wines have been opened – yet.

‘We’ve been very tempted,’ said Schroh. ‘We consulted an expert we were told that it was 50-50 whether the wines would be drinkable. But the cork and seal is intact on many of the bottles so we are hopeful.’

It will be up to John Kean to decide what happens to the wines next, Schroh said.

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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.