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.

Seventy firefighters have managed to prevent a fire at Château Suduiraut in Sauternes from getting out of control.

suduiraut fire
Suduiraut staff, vines and cellars were unharmed in fire.

Seventy firefighters called out...

The post Suduiraut has lucky escape from fire appeared first on Decanter.


Seventy firefighters have managed to prevent a fire at Château Suduiraut in Sauternes from getting out of control.

suduiraut fire
Suduiraut staff, vines and cellars were unharmed in fire.

Seventy firefighters called out...

The post Suduiraut has lucky escape from fire appeared first on Decanter.

Seventy firefighters have managed to prevent a fire at Château Suduiraut in Sauternes from getting out of control.

suduiraut fire
Suduiraut staff, vines and cellars were unharmed in fire.

The fire broke out in a wing of Château Suduiraut that is rented out for conferences, but has left vineyards and winemaking areas untouched, said Christian Seely, the managing director of AXA Millésimes, which owns the Sauternes premier cru classé property.

Blamed on an electrical fault, the fire was very localised and no one was hurt, Seely told Decanter.com. The greatest damage was done in the dining room, kitchen and some bedrooms.

Asked if smoke taint could be an issue for the vines, Seely said no. ‘It’s not a problem at this time of year and the fire was in the middle of the château, not near the vineyards.’

All wine in tanks or barrels was safely sealed off, he said.

Flames began on the morning of 20 June, sending a huge plume of smoke into the air. At least 70 local firefighters battled to bring the fire under control.

All staff working at Suduiraut were safely evacuated and an investigation to confirm the source of the fire was underway.

This is not the first time Suduiraut has been hit by a blaze, albeit the first fire caused more damaged.

The property was burnt down during ‘the Fronde’ – as a series of French civil wars between 1648 and 1653 under Louis XIV are known – and then rebuilt in the second half of the 17th century.

Alongside its signature Sauternes, Suduiraut also makes two dry white wines. The most recent, Blanc Sec de Suduiraut, was first made from the 2015 vintage.

As well as wine, the estate is known for its elegant gardens, designed by King Louis XIV’s gardener, André Le Nôtre, who also created the gardens at Versailles palace outside of Paris.

Farr Vintners director Tom Hudson said that he didn’t expect news of the fire to impact sales of Suduiraut, although he added that, in general, ‘Sauternes remains quite a hard sell’ in the current market.

Editing by Chris Mercer


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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.