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.

Bob Wilmers, the American owner of Château Haut-Bailly in Bordeaux, has died aged 83.

bob wilmers, haut-bailly
Bob Wilmers (right) receives his 'officer' medal from Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé.

Remembering Haut-Bailly owner Bob Wilmers...

The post Château Haut-Bailly owner Bob Wilmers dies appeared first on Decanter.


Bob Wilmers, the American owner of Château Haut-Bailly in Bordeaux, has died aged 83.

bob wilmers, haut-bailly
Bob Wilmers (right) receives his 'officer' medal from Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé.

Remembering Haut-Bailly owner Bob Wilmers...

The post Château Haut-Bailly owner Bob Wilmers dies appeared first on Decanter.

Bob Wilmers, the American owner of Château Haut-Bailly in Bordeaux, has died aged 83.

bob wilmers, haut-bailly
Bob Wilmers (right) receives his 'officer' medal from Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé.

Robert G Wilmers, known widely as Bob Wilmers, died at his home in Buffalo, New York State, on Saturday night. He was aged 83.

Owner of Château Haut-Bailly in Pessac-Léognan since 1998, and neighbouring Château le Pape since 2012, Wilmers was also the long-term CEO of M&T bank in Buffalo that he grew into one of the biggest financial institutions in the United States, all while retaining his image as a careful, risk-averse steward.

Investor Warren Buffet said of him when learning of his death, ‘he was a remarkable banker, an even more remarkable citizen and wonderful friend’.

In Bordeaux, he will be remembered for elevating Château Haut-Bailly into one of the very top estates of the region, investing in both vineyard and cellar and giving full trust to the considerable talents of director Véronique Sanders.

‘Bob arrived at Haut-Bailly extremely discreetly,’ Olivier Bernard, president of the union for Bordeaux grands crus (UGC), told Decanter.com.

‘He listened a lot and didn’t say too much, and instinctively understood the complexities of running a grand cru in Bordeaux.

‘For that his partnership with Véronique Sanders was key – showing he understood the importance of heritage, of the need to invest for the long-term with no huge ruptures along the way.

‘We were also lucky in Pessac-Léognan because as a neighbour, he was great company.’

Wilmers clearly loved his estate, and once said of Haut-Bailly, ‘I am sort of awed by the whole place. The first thing I do when I arrive back after being away is to just get reacquainted, starting with a stroll around the outer limits of the vineyards.

‘Haut-Bailly has a soul, an elegance, a subtlety that it has had for generations – our work is just to keep making tiny adjustments that build on its past.’

Wilmers and his wife supported many charitable and cultural institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, from the Cité du Vin, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Grand Theatre in Bordeaux to major art institutes in both New York and Paris as well as local schools and charities in Buffalo.

He was key in raising funds for the non-profit Partner University Fund (PUF) between the French government, American private donors and the French-American Cultural Exchange foundation, and was also president of New York’s Alliance Française.

Wilmers was this year awarded ‘officer’ status in France’s Legion of Honour system, partly in recognition of his charity work as well as for his contribution to French wine.

Wilmers is survived by his French wife Elisabeth Roche Wilmers, his son Christopher and grandchildren Dylan and Theodore – as well as four step-children and eleven step grandchildren.

Related articles:

  • Bob Wilmers buys Haut-Bailly neighbour

  • Jane Anson’s note on the Haut-Bailly 2016 en primeur wine

  • New Liv-ex ‘1855 classification’: Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier gain (published 2015)

The post Château Haut-Bailly owner Bob Wilmers dies appeared first on 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.