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.

Susan Hulme MW profiles the best areas and producers of one Italy's oldest grapes. Plus see her top 12 Campania Aglianico wines, available exclusively to Decanter Premium members.

Susan Hulme MW argues that Aglianico finds its best expression in Southern Italy's Campania...

The post Aglianico in Campania appeared first on Decanter.


Susan Hulme MW profiles the best areas and producers of one Italy's oldest grapes. Plus see her top 12 Campania Aglianico wines, available exclusively to Decanter Premium members.

Susan Hulme MW argues that Aglianico finds its best expression in Southern Italy's Campania...

The post Aglianico in Campania appeared first on Decanter.

Susan Hulme MW profiles the best areas and producers of one Italy's oldest grapes. Plus see her top 12 Campania Aglianico wines, available exclusively to Decanter Premium members.

Aglianico in Campania


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Aglianico is one of the world’s great grape varieties. It is certainly one of Italy’s three top-quality red grapes, along with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. If Barolo and Barbaresco, Brunello and Chianti are northern and central Italy’s vinous odes to greatness, then the Aglianico of Taurasi is certainly Italy’s southern counterpart. A great grape must have several features.

These include an historical pedigree; the intrinsic qualities of the variety itself; the ability to produce wines that can age; and the ability to express differences of location or to transmit terroir. Mastroberardino is historically the most important Taurasi producer, with a family history going back to the mid-1800s – for many years it was the lone defender and champion of Aglianico.

‘Its origins are very ancient,’ explains Piero Mastroberardino, who believes that the introduction of Aglianico to Campania can be traced back to ancient Greek settlements in the south of Italy, in around the 6th or 7th century BC. Even the name is said to have Greek origins, being a corruption of Vitis Hellenica (Greek vine). Whatever its origins, Aglianico is undoubtedly one of Italy’s oldest grape varieties.

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Place and personality

Mastroberardino gives a description of the variety’s special qualities. ‘The particular values of this ancient variety are the great polyphenolic and aromatic qualities, as well as the acidity level, which is generally higher than in other red grape varieties,’ he says, adding that this gives ‘increased longevity’. I recently tasted a selection of several 20-year-old Taurasi wines from the mid-1990s which, unbelievably, still seemed a little too youthful. Indeed, Mastroberardino still shows wines going back as far as the 1950s and 1960s which have the freshness and tenacity of much younger wines. These are truly some of the longest-lived wines in Italy.

Piero Mastroberardino

Aglianico can be found in Molise, Puglia, Calabria, Sicily and Basilicata (home of Aglianico del Vulture Superiore DOCG), but it is in Campania where it finds many of its best expressions. There are two DOCGs here: Taurasi DOCG (established 1993) and Aglianico del Taburno DOCG (since 2011), and there are also a multitude of smaller DOCs in which it features, usually as a single variety but also blended with other local varieties such as Piedirosso.

 

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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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