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.

Multiple flames engulf Napa, Sonoma and other parts of Northern California...

california wildfires
Wildfires in California.

Update: Latest on California fires here Wild fires hit California Wine Country Multiple producers have said that the fire that …Continue reading »

The post Wild fires hit California Wine Country appeared first on Decanter.


Multiple flames engulf Napa, Sonoma and other parts of Northern California...

california wildfires
Wildfires in California.

Update: Latest on California fires here Wild fires hit California Wine Country Multiple producers have said that the fire that …Continue reading »

The post Wild fires hit California Wine Country appeared first on Decanter.

Multiple flames engulf Napa, Sonoma and other parts of Northern California...

california wildfires
Wildfires in California.

Update: Latest on California fires here

Wild fires hit California Wine Country

Multiple producers have said that the fire that broke out Sunday night in Napa Valley is worse than the fire caused by the major 1989 earthquake and much worse than the damage seen from the recent 2014 earthquake. It had been reported that well-known wineries such as Signorello Estate have burned to the ground with others being threatened such as, Chimney Rock and Darioush on the Silverado Trail.

Before & after. Signorello Vineyards in Napa #napafire #calfires #winecountry pic.twitter.com/EMdn64nz3z

— Suzanne Espinosa (@suzyesp) October 9, 2017

‘The speed of the fire is what’s incredible, as well as the winds that swirled it back around,’ said Allison Steltzner of the Napa-based Steltzner Vineyards.

And as a result, she noted that in the town of Yountville, ‘trees just snapped’ in two. She evacuated her vineyard at 12:30 last night with her children. Her vineyard manager stayed until the early hours to fight the fire and then joined colleagues to try to save other people and property along the Silverado Trail, which is one of the region’s two main North-South arteries.

The off-the-record word was that many producers didn’t really know the level of damage that had been done—as the nine-mile trajectory from Trancas Street in the town of Napa to Yountville Cross Road, remains closed. Many high-profile appellations such as Altas Peak lie along that road.

The Current Situation

‘Evacuations are still underway and many people remain without power and cell phone reception, making communications difficult,’ said Patsy McGaughy, communications director for Napa Valley Vintners.

‘As of now, we do not have any verifiable information regarding vineyard acreage or winery buildings burned. We are assessing information on how the fires might affect the 2017 harvest and the wine industry specifically, but it will be some time before we have any specific information along these lines.’

Secondary fires have also been brewing, such as the ‘Tubbs Fire’, which started in the Sonoma region of Santa Rosa and is reportedly heading towards the town of Sonoma itself.

‘Our members seem to be OK,’ said Joyce Stavert, the executive director of Oakville Winegrowers, which represents 72 wineries and growers, although they have struggled to reach some people.

Many vintners were out with hoses to tame the flames last night, said Nancy Bialek, the executive director of the Stags’ Leap Winegrowers, which has 17 winery members. The fire department  didn’t come as they were focused on more populous areas and ‘life over property.’

Sletztner added that, ‘no one is trying to save any structures; police were just going in to evacuate people.’

Bialek added that the good news, at least in the Stags’ Leap AVA, is that half to 70 percent of the harvest is finished. Although ‘there is going to be a lot of loss in the vineyard because ash penetrates the grapes.’ Napa Valley Vintners also stated that the majority of Napa Valley’s grapes were picked before the fires started last night.

However, many other appellations had much more acreage still on the vine.

Steltzner said she thinks that Napa Valley residents will band together after the fires are put out. ‘There will be a large push to come back and enjoy the Valley.’

More information on the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund can be found here. 

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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.
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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.