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.

Why is this in the Decanter hall of fame...?

Penfolds Bin 60A 1962

Why it makes Decanter's hall of fame...

The post Wine Legend: Penfolds Bin 60A 1962 appeared first on Decanter.


Why is this in the Decanter hall of fame...?

Penfolds Bin 60A 1962

Why it makes Decanter's hall of fame...

The post Wine Legend: Penfolds Bin 60A 1962 appeared first on Decanter.

Why is this in the Decanter hall of fame...?

Penfolds Bin 60A 1962

Penfolds Bin 60A, 1962, Coonawarra/Barossa Valley, Australia

Bottles produced 5,100

Composition 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Shiraz

Yield N/A

Alcohol 12.8%

Release price Not released commercially

Availability: Keep your eyes peeled…Auction price today £2,343


A legend because…

In a country where success at professional wine shows counts for a great deal, wineries from the 1950s onwards sometimes released special bin bottlings of wines that were essentially experimental, so as to test the reaction of the senior winemakers who dominated the judging at Australian wine shows.

No Penfolds wine has enjoyed more triumphs than Bin 60A, winning a total of 19 trophies.

Andre Tchelistcheff, the most famous winemaker in California at the time, was among those to hail the classic quality of this wine. Over 40 years would go by before Penfolds ventured to produce another version of this blend in 2004, one that has not been repeated since.

Looking back

Max Schubert, who created Australia’s most famous wine, Grange, in the early 1950s in the teeth of opposition from the company bosses, was then the presiding genius at Penfolds. By the late 1950s, Grange was accepted and established, but Schubert had not finished with experimentation and new styles.

Then as now, the Australian show system was a way to test whether a particular style or blend could achieve a chorus of approval from a panel of judges mostly composed of rival winemakers. Curiously, Penfolds entered a similar wine called Bin 60 (with more Shiraz than Cabernet) into shows at this time, but it was the Bin 60A that walked away with the gold medals and the trophies.

The vintage

The 1962 growing season in the Barossa Valley was ideal, with mostly dry weather and warm dry conditions at vintage. Michael Broadbent gives the vintage for Australia as a whole his top five-star rating.

The terroir

Like so many top Australian wines, this is a cross-regional blend, uniting cool-climate Cabernet Sauvignon from Sharams’ Block and Block 20 in Coonawarra (planted on the famous terra rossa soils) with the decidedly warm-climate, original Shiraz blocks from the Kalimna Vineyard in the Barossa Valley, which lies on sandy soils in the western part of the valley. Kalimna has long been an important component in the Grange blend.

The wine

The wine was produced at Penfolds’ Magill Estate, outside Adelaide in South Australia. It was foot-crushed, say some witnesses, and then fermented in wax-lined concrete vats equipped with wooden boards that would keep the cap submerged to assist extraction.

The average fermentation temperature was 22°C, and there was a daily délestage (the ‘€rack and return’ method of emptying the tank and then returning the aerated fermenting must). As the wine was completing its fermentation, it was pressed in a basket press before being transferred to new American 300-litre barrels, where it stayed for around 15 months.

The reaction

Michael Broadbent, sampling the wine in 1999, succinctly noted that it was ‘€delicious’. It was the only New World wine to make the top 10 when Decanter listed its greatest wines of all time, in August 2004.

In 2012, Andrew Jefford adored the perfume: ‘€Mushrooms, incense and leather, finessing the ripe fruit… It stayed generous and articulate to the last drop, sweet-fruited yet refined and spicy.’

In the same year, Australian wine auctioneer Andrew Caillard MW, who claims to have tasted the wine almost 100 times, noted: ‘Supple and fine-grained, with generous developed fried fruits, espresso, apricot and herb flavours, fine, loose-knit chalky tannins and gentle acidity. Finishes lacy, firm and long.’


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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.