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.

Pessac-Léognan has become a dynamic force among the Bordeaux appellations, despite only being around for 30 years. Read a history of the area, plus fresh reviews of how the early vintages taste now.

Pessac-Leognon
Château Latour-Martillac

How Pessac-Léognan made a name for itself...

The post Pessac-Léognan: Then and now – the story of an appellation appeared first on Decanter.


Pessac-Léognan has become a dynamic force among the Bordeaux appellations, despite only being around for 30 years. Read a history of the area, plus fresh reviews of how the early vintages taste now.

Pessac-Leognon
Château Latour-Martillac

How Pessac-Léognan made a name for itself...

The post Pessac-Léognan: Then and now – the story of an appellation appeared first on Decanter.

Pessac-Léognan has become a dynamic force among the Bordeaux appellations, despite only being around for 30 years. Read a history of the area, plus fresh reviews of how the early vintages taste now.

Pessac-Leognon
Château Latour-Martillac

If you ever wonder about the human element in the creation of France’s appellation system, step into the history of Pessac-Léognan.

Today one of the most dynamic parts of Bordeaux, easily producing some of the best red and white wines in the whole of France, its birth was a long drawn-out affair that had moments of high drama intercut with years of inaction, and no small influence of a few key personalities.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, the appellation may never have been created if it wasn’t for two men.

The first was Pierre Seiglan, who back in the spring of 1964 was owner of Château St-Jérome in the southern Graves, and an active member of the local syndicate (he later became its president).

During the annual winemaker meeting, he made his hostility towards owners in the northern part of the appellation plainly felt, and the falling-out led, in a few months, to the establishment of a separate wine syndicate for what was known as ‘Haute’ Graves.


Scroll down for Anson’s top picks from Pessac, then and now… 


This new association immediately sent a request to the French body responsible for appellations, the INAO (Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité), for its appellation, but it would take the considerable determination of a second man, André Lurton, to finally see it happen 23 years later.

Pessac-Léognan timeline

1964

The Syndicate Viticole des Hautes Graves de Bordeaux breaks off from the main Syndicate de Graves, although some winemakers from the southern section also join its ranks. Its first action was to send a request for a separate AC to the French appellations’ authority, the INAO

1966

André Lurton arrives at the syndicate after buying Château La Louvière

1968

Pierre Perromat, president of the INAO, begins looking into creation of AC Hautes-Graves de Bordeaux, but things stall for the next decade

1974

André Lurton becomes president of the Syndicat Viticole des Hautes Graves de Bordeaux

1978

The question of the new AC is relaunched by the INAO, and various conciliatory meetings are organised between north and south Graves

1980

To overcome the issue of having winemakers from the southern Graves in the syndicate, it is reworked to become a precise geographic region. This becomes the Syndicat Viticole de Pessac et Léognan. Its members remain within the overall Syndicat Viticole des Graves et Graves Supérieures, where they account for just six out of 42 seats on the board

1984

The INAO recommends the creation of Graves Pessac and Graves Léognan, two geographic indications that would be allowed on the label for the relevant estates

1985

Believing that this compromise doesn’t go far enough, the six members of the Syndicat Viticole de Pessac et Léognan resign from the Syndicat Viticole des Graves et Graves Supérieures. This brings events to a head

June 1987

The INAO agrees to the creation of the new AC for the 1987 vintage for whites and the 1986 for reds

September 1987

The creation of AC Pessac-Léognan (no longer Pessac et Léognan) is published in the government’s Journal Officiel. It includes wines produced in the 10 communes of Mérignac, Villenave d’Ornon, Pessac, Cadaujac, Talence, Léognan, Gradignan, Martillac, Canéjan and St-Médard-d’Eyrans, following a geological study by geologist Pierre Becheler

October 1987

Château La Mission Haut-Brion holds a celebration dinner, with 300 guests

 


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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.
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