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.

French fraud police have frozen ownership of 10 Bordeaux châteaux believed to be connected to the same Chinese investor as part of an ongoing investigation.

fine wine cellar

Ten Bordeaux estates confiscated by police...

The post Police seize Bordeaux châteaux owned by Chinese firm appeared first on Decanter.


French fraud police have frozen ownership of 10 Bordeaux châteaux believed to be connected to the same Chinese investor as part of an ongoing investigation.

fine wine cellar

Ten Bordeaux estates confiscated by police...

The post Police seize Bordeaux châteaux owned by Chinese firm appeared first on Decanter.

French fraud police have frozen ownership of 10 Bordeaux châteaux believed to be connected to the same Chinese investor as part of an ongoing investigation.

fine wine cellar
  • Anti-fraud authority confirms that ownership of châteaux has been frozen
  • Day-to-day operations at affected wineries believed to be continuing and wines not involved
  • Case relates to funds used by China’s Haichang Group to purchase estates

France’s Central Office for the Repression of Major Financial Crime (OCRGDF) has frozen ownership of 10 vineyards and châteaux in Bordeaux, confirmed a spokesperson for Bordeaux’s organised crime department (the DIJP, or Direction interrégionale de la police judiciaire).

It was understood that all estates belonged to China’s Haichang Group, although the DIJP spokesperson would not confirm the names of the estates seized. The DIJP managed the investigation and seizure with the OCRGDF.

Day-to-day business at the properties has continued as normal and the wines themselves were not part of the investigation, the DIJP spokesperson said.

The seizures, which took place over the last six months, follow a four-year investigation in France into possible financial irregularities related to the funds used to buy the properties. The investigation into the source of the funds focused particularly on the misuse of public funds and money laundering.

The French police investigation was set to be examined by a judge and a decision on the future of the confiscated estates is expected to be made in the coming months.

Asked how the investigation began, the spokesperson said it followed reports of financial issues with Haichang Group in China. A report released in 2014 by China’s National Audit Office (NAO) accused Haichang Holdings Ltd. (based in Dalian) of misspending $43 million in public funds. However, no formal charges were known to have been brought against the firm.

Haichang, founded in Dalian in China’s Liaoning province, owns around 20 Bordeaux wine estates.

In 2015, Decanter’s Jane Anson reported that Haichang Group-owned properties in Bordeaux were producing an estimated two million bottles per year across 60 labels, much of which is sold in China.

Christophe Chateau, a spokesperson for Bordeaux’s wine bureau (CIVB), told Decanter.com, ‘The subject of the investigation is not wine, it is finance. Therefore the CIVB is not involved. We are monitoring the situation, though.

‘We are always very happy when Chinese buyers come to Bordeaux and when they buy châteaux. It raises the image of Bordeaux in China. But, if the money is not clean, then the two governments, Chinese and French, need to investigate. I have never, in my time in Bordeaux, heard of anything like this happening before.’

A spokesperson for Haichang Group could not be immediately reached.

 

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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.