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.

William Kelley looks back at the 1997 vintage in Napa, and picks out some of his top scoring wines...

1997 Napa

How does the 1997 vintage in Napa compare to today's wines? William Kelley investigates...

The post William Kelley – ‘Was the 1997 Napa vintage the catalyst for a stylistic shift?’ appeared first on Decanter.


William Kelley looks back at the 1997 vintage in Napa, and picks out some of his top scoring wines...

1997 Napa

How does the 1997 vintage in Napa compare to today's wines? William Kelley investigates...

The post William Kelley – ‘Was the 1997 Napa vintage the catalyst for a stylistic shift?’ appeared first on Decanter.

William Kelley looks back at the 1997 vintage in Napa, and picks out some of his top scoring wines...

1997 Napa

In retrospect, it’s easy to interpret Napa Valley’s 1997 vintage as a stylistic turning point. It was a year characterised by balmy weather and an above-average crop. Yields were generous and maturity came slowly.

‘For a long time, the grapes just didn’t taste ripe – there was a green quality, with grippy tannins,’ recalls David Ramey, then winemaker at Dominus Estate: ‘So people waited. And waited.’ The result was record levels of sugar – and alcohol levels. ‘It was the dawn of a new era,’ Ramey concludes.

Many feared that the ensuing wines were fatally overripe. Yet the 1997s received rave reviews from writers awed by their impact. Wine Spectator’s James Laube dubbed 1997 ‘the vintage of the century’, admiring the ‘profound richness, depth, complexity, finesse and flavour’ of the wines. Robert Parker’s judgement was similarly laudatory. The valley breathed a collective sigh of relief.


Scroll down for William Kelley’s top-rated 1997 Napa Cabernets


By the beginning of the new millennium, the moral of the story was clear. More and more winemakers began picking later: some were relieved to be unshackled from convention, free to explore riper tannins and flavours; others simply followed the market. An accident had unleashed a revolution.

 


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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.