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.
Bordeaux weekend, vineyards guide
Château Pichon Baron in Pauillac.

From châteaux visits to coastal towns...

The post Spend a weekend in Bordeaux: Travel guide appeared first on Decanter.


Bordeaux weekend, vineyards guide
Château Pichon Baron in Pauillac.

From châteaux visits to coastal towns...

The post Spend a weekend in Bordeaux: Travel guide appeared first on Decanter.

Bordeaux weekend, vineyards guide
Château Pichon Baron in Pauillac.

It’s the contrast between the stately and unfussy that gives Bordeaux such wide appeal.

The Médoc is a perfect example. You think you’ve enjoyed the richest beauty it has to offer in the elegant spires of Château Pichon-Baron or exotic pagodas of Cos d’Estournel. And then you keep going, through its outer edges where the vines drop away and châteaux are replaced by fishermen’s huts and nature reserves.

Here, the green of the vines transforms into the blues of the sky and the sea as the Gironde estuary empties into the Atlantic ocean. This is the part of the Médoc peninsula that is supposedly desolate, barren, bleak. And yet it’s bewitching, humming with life.


See also: Châteaux accommodation in Bordeaux


In the summer, the place to head is St-Vivien du Médoc, where you find oyster farms and neat inland reservoirs for the delicious estuary prawns. A market is held in the main village square every Wednesday morning, and you can head to several open-air restaurants in the port, where fresh grilled prawns are served on tables looking out over the water (try Guinguette de la Plage, open March to September).

This is the furthest north that you can go in Bordeaux, at least 80km from the city centre. Look out over the Gironde estuary from St-Vivien du Médoc to the far bank and you are facing the coastline of Charente Maritime. Seabirds and boats rule here, and you can feel the pull of the ocean history that made Bordeaux such an important port for so many centuries.

And yet head to the eastern edges of the region, about 50km from the city centre, to the sun-drenched limestone hills of Castillon-la-Bataille and St-Foy Côtes de Bordeaux, and you could be in a different world. Here there is a softer, sweeter swell to the landscape; the salty sting of the Atlantic gives way to the limestone escarpments, fields of sunflowers, fortified villages and black truffle oaks of the nearby Périgord and Dordogne region.

The complexities of the land are more than reflected in the complexities of the wine, and the fun comes in trying to experience both ends of the spectrum. Visit artisan wineries like the biodynamic Château le Puy in Côtes de Francs, where you’ll find a circle of standing stones from 3,000BC and a hectare of wild flowers or hedgerows conserved for every hectare of vines.

Follow that up with a visit to Châteaux Angélus or Pavie in St-Emilion, both premiers grands crus classés A, where you will find stunning architecture, atmospheric cellars and all the prestige and glamour of classified Bordeaux. The perfect way to get under the skin of this maddeningly contradictory place.

Insider’s tip

Have a meal at Au Bistrot, next to the Capucins market in central Bordeaux. Run by François Pervillé, who was part of the team that launched the much-loved Brasserie Bordelais, this brilliant restaurant opened in February 2015. It’s small so you need to book ahead, and Pervillé only takes reservations via his mobile.

There is a tiny menu that changes daily, and no printed wine list, but he has an uncanny knack for suggesting brilliant bottles from the cases that are stacked all around the walls.


See also: Anson’s guide to Bordeaux châteaux restaurants


Jane Anson is the Bordeaux correspondent and a columnist for Decanter and Decanter.com. This guide first appeared in the February 2017 issue of Decanter. 


 

The post Spend a weekend in Bordeaux: Travel guide 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.