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.

All retailing for under £25 or $30...

best affordable Chilean wines

Independents are the best places to find the real Chile, suggests Peter Richards MW...

The post 30 best affordable Chilean wines to try appeared first on Decanter.


All retailing for under £25 or $30...

best affordable Chilean wines

Independents are the best places to find the real Chile, suggests Peter Richards MW...

The post 30 best affordable Chilean wines to try appeared first on Decanter.

All retailing for under £25 or $30...

best affordable Chilean wines

The entrenched perception of Chile is of a country providing keenly priced, reliably decent, consistent wine at the value end of the spectrum.

The dissonance (and resulting unease) comes when looking beyond these narrow parameters into the realms of more challenging, esoteric, offbeat – dare I say it, fine – Chilean wine styles, which are increasingly abundant and visible, especially to those who visit the country regularly or taste widely.


Scroll down for Peter’s best affordable Chilean wines under £25


But it’s interesting how often people seem to find this problematic, and simply revert to the former perception.The outstanding Andrew Jefford touched on this in a recent Decanter column when he criticised Chilean wine for having a repetitious ‘Chilean cast’, which he says mutes regional and stylistic diversity.This struck me as odd. But then, I’d just returned from one of my regular trips to Chile, tasting hundreds of wines from all kinds of producers across the country, from traditional to modern, from heartlands to hinterlands.

While perhaps absolute quality can still be defined as a work in progress, diversity was evident in abundance. Highlights included flor-aged Riesling grown at breathless Andean altitude, white País for which the vines grow wild up trees, amphora-aged Mourvedre and a fortified, barrel-aged Cabernet–Merlot–Syrah blend. Sameness was the last thought in my mind.

Challenges

The problem for Chile lies in quantity, not just quality. Not enough of these wines are finding their way out of the country and into prime markets – maybe just enough to challenge preconceptions, but not enough to change entrenched cognitions.

Jefford, for example, was explicitly relating his comments to what he had tasted at the Decanter World Wine Awards. That’s one prism. Another, bigger prism is your local (or national) market. The issue here is market gatekeepers.

Researching this piece, it became clear that the excitement and diversity evident on the ground in Chile simply isn’t being well reflected or represented in mainstream channels in a major market like the UK.

My brief was to find high-street Chilean wines I’d recommend under £25 (mostly red, ideally with wide availability). Frustrating doesn’t begin to cover it.

There was an endemic predictability to the selections of the big players, symptomatic of a desire to play things safe, not risk challenging perceptions, perhaps to keep Chile in a niche that serves both suppliers and retailers. Hence the paucity of wines in big retailers in my selection (albeit with a few, notable exceptions).

For now, independents are the best places to find the real Chile. It may not be quite as convenient, but they deserve your support and it’s worth it – there are some beautiful wines here, outstanding value for money in the global context, wonderfully characterful and diverse.

Of course, Chilean producers still can do more in the ongoing quest for ever-greater quality and diversity (and Jefford is absolutely right to encourage this). But, in the meantime, we also need to be ready to embrace some cognitive dissonance – and be prepared, if given sufficiently delicious evidence, to change our perception of Chile.

Who knows, in doing so we may even be able to convince the big retailers to do the same.


Peter’s top Chilean wines to buy under £25:


You may also like:

Chilean Carmenère: Panel tasting results
Recent Chile vintages: A review and wines to try
Wine lover’s guide to Valparaíso
Best South American wines under £15/$20
South America’s top 10 winemakers

The post 30 best affordable Chilean wines to try appeared first on Decanter.


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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.

Laurel Gray Vineyards

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