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.
south africa wine harvest
Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

But there are reports of promising quality in several regions....

The post South Africa’s 2019 wine harvest is smallest for 14 years appeared first on Decanter.


south africa wine harvest
Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

But there are reports of promising quality in several regions....

The post South Africa’s 2019 wine harvest is smallest for 14 years appeared first on Decanter.

south africa wine harvest
Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

South Africa’s 2019 wine harvest is set to go down as the smallest since 2005, with projected volumes of just over 1.2m tonnes of grapes.

That is 1.4% down on 2018, according to consultancy group Vinpro, which said it had been a ‘trying year’ due to the after-effects of drought, plus ongoing dry conditions in some areas and then wet weather at the end of the growing season.

How drought has still cast a shadow on 2019 yields

‘The drought was still lingering during the post-harvest period, which meant many producers couldn’t apply crucial post-harvest irrigation,’ said Francois Viljoen, viticultural consultation service manager at Vinpro.

‘As a result leaves fell early and vines couldn’t accumulate the reserves needed to carry them through the season, which in turn affected the berry set and growth.’

Stellenbosch was among the regions worst-hit in quantity terms, according to Vinpro, along with Klein Karoo – which saw continued drought and hail damage – plus Olifants River.

Quality: Chenin shines in Stellenbosch

Vinpro said that rain and cool conditions in some South African regions at the end of February and early March hampered some later ripening red grape varieties, which had relatively low sugar levels.

But, it added that there was optimism around 2019 quality in several areas.

Jacques de Klerk, director of viticulture and winemaking at Radford Dale, said that in Stellenbosch ‘very small crops were seen from Chardonnay this year. On the upside, it was a stellar year for Chenin Blanc.

‘The cool daytime conditions (and especially nights!) of December and January meant that our earlier varieties ripened with lovely acidity and great freshness, all at lower alcohol levels.’

There was also confidence in Swartland, despite another year of low rainfall. ‘Tiny bunches and berries again meant lots of concentration and the wines are packed full of flavour as a result,’ said de Klerk in a harvest report.

He was also upbeat about quality nearer to the coast, including Pinot Noir in Elgin and both Pinot and Chenin in Walker Bay, where grapes ripened evenly and slowly.

Of the Hemel-en-Aarde area within the Walker Bay region, he added, ‘2019 seemed to bring the exact conditions that have made the region famous for its Pinot Noir; warm days and cool nights, all moderated by the maritime influence of the ocean.’


 

The post South Africa’s 2019 wine harvest is smallest for 14 years 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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