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.

Could microbes be the key?  Andrew Jefford talks to McLaren Vale winemaker Drew Noon MW.

terroir soil, noon, mclaren vale
Drew Noon shows how gravel soil in the vineyard is marked by metal sculptures to let picking crews know the boundaries of a block.

Analysing links between soil and terroir...

The post Jefford on Monday: Tracking terroir appeared first on Decanter.


Could microbes be the key?  Andrew Jefford talks to McLaren Vale winemaker Drew Noon MW.

terroir soil, noon, mclaren vale
Drew Noon shows how gravel soil in the vineyard is marked by metal sculptures to let picking crews know the boundaries of a block.

Analysing links between soil and terroir...

The post Jefford on Monday: Tracking terroir appeared first on Decanter.

Could microbes be the key?  Andrew Jefford talks to McLaren Vale winemaker Drew Noon MW.

terroir soil, noon, mclaren vale
Drew Noon shows how gravel soil in the vineyard is marked by metal sculptures to let picking crews know the boundaries of a block.

Not every vineyard is a little corner of paradise (chemicals render some infernal; topography makes others purgatorial) – yet I know one that is.  It’s Drew and Rae Noon’s 5.6 ha of vines tucked away on Rifle Range Road in South Australia’s McLaren Vale.  The vineyard is a large garden, with the vines tended “like grandmother’s plum tree” – and there’s a beautiful kitchen garden, too, with a chicken run, and tables under trees, and dappled sunlight.  The cellar is quiet, open, peaceful, clean, simple and unhurried; the house full of books and maps.  This is winemaking, you feel, as Horatian retirement: cultured, creative, secluded, thoughtful.  (Drew Noon was one of Australia’s earliest MWs, and ‘retired’ back to Rifle Range Road after running vineyards in the Hunter, and consulting in Victoria.)

The Reserve Cabernet and Reserve Shiraz are both crafted from fruit which Drew Noon buys from the Borrett family in Langhorne Creek, but the family’s celebrated Grenache-based Eclipse as well as the fortified VP and the High Noon Rosé all come (since 2011) from the McLaren Vale vines alone.  Drew and I have corresponded since 2010, on and off, about terroir; he and Rae follow the academic and general literature; and they allow that there are sound reasons for reserve about some of the wilder claims and looser language of unthinking terroiriste winemakers, geologically intoxicated wine writers and dithyrambic sommeliers.

The point is this, though: they have studied their own vines, individually, and their own soils for over 20 years now.  They’ve tested terroir.  They’ve observed differences in plant behaviour on different soils, then smelled and tasted differences in the resulting wines.  Indeed even back in his Hunter Valley days, “I became convinced terroir was real because I could taste it.  With Semillon at Tyrrell’s in the Hunter Valley, the wines from the sandy soils were quite different to those from the clay soils.”

Drew Noon currently accepts “that all aspects of climate play a big, probably a predominant, role in determining the character of a wine.  By this I mean the weight, acid balance and mouth feel of a wine.  But the nuances of flavour (what you could call the personality of the wine) that give rise to the differences between sites, I suspect, are the results of the complex interactions between the vine and the microbes in the soil and on the above-ground parts of the vine.  The smaller the vineyard area under consideration, the more important is the role of the soil.”  This is a key distinction; I’m sure he’s right.

noon vineyards

Comparison of Noon West Block, sections A & B at veraison stage in 2018. Image credit: Noon.

Soil microbes and their interactions with vine roots are rightly the focus of much study at present; Noon is convinced that vines, as it were, ‘school’ their own microbial populations over the years, and that this is one reason why old, less vigorous vines counter-intuitively produce higher quality wine than young, more vigorous vines are able to.  (Elaine Ingham of Australia’s Soil Foodweb Institute, Rae Noon told me, has shown how plants not only release food to nourish their own microbial populations, but can actually change the food mix in order to favour certain microbial populations.)

Drew Noon’s emphasis on above-ground microbes is less widely shared, but is not illogical.  We know how much yeast populations on grape skins can differ from place to place.  The aerial medium of a vine, he points out, is no less dependent on site factors than the soil medium, and every surface of a plant hosts microbes.  Concern for this medium is one reason why he uses biodynamic preparations on his vines (though Noon is not a biodynamically certified vineyard).

In particular, the Noons have been able to study their Winery Block Grenache vineyard (planted in 1934) very closely.  “The soil changes a little way down the rows from a gravel fan to the heavy clay which most of the vines are growing in. The soil change is quite sudden so vines only a few metres apart are growing in two different soils.”  The fruit growing on the gravel never makes it into Eclipse, but is used for the rosé and the second label (Twelve Bells); whereas the fruit grown on the clays accounts for 30 to 50 per cent of the Eclipse.  The two sectors naturally carry different weed populations in summer – and Drew and Rae have marked the point of difference with a line of metal sculptures.

“The vines on the gravel,” Drew explains, “look different; they appear older and more frail than the vines on the clay, many are falling slowly apart. The fruit looks different, with more tightly packed bunches and larger berries. This is the result of the soil physical properties which allows the roots on the gravel to explore a larger volume of soil (the roots are deeper and spread wider) because of the lighter texture, accessing more water. But the wine tastes different in flavour, apart from being softer and less dense. I think this is largely due to the different microbe population.  Microbes,” he concludes, “are not the primary driver of wine flavour in the larger context, but I do think they could be vital to understanding the important, subtle and exciting differences that exist between sites.”


A Taste of Noon McLaren Vale wines

 

 


Read more Andrew Jefford columns on Decanter.com

 

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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.