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.
What is a Super Tuscan?

What are these highly sought-after wines...

The post Top Super Tuscan wines appeared first on Decanter.


What is a Super Tuscan?

What are these highly sought-after wines...

The post Top Super Tuscan wines appeared first on Decanter.

What is a Super Tuscan?

You may have seen the term ‘Super Tuscan’ before, and that’s because it’s used to describe some of Tuscany’s top red wines, such as Tignanello, Sassicaia and Ornellaia.

They are high quality red and white wines, normally with a price to match, made from non-indigenous varieties or using blends not allowed under Tuscan appellation law.

Background

Back in the 1960s, some Tuscan producers began experimenting with non-indigenous varieties from Bordeaux, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

Sassicaia is considered the first Super Tuscan. Marchese Mario Incisa della Rochetta had been making the wine for private consumption since 1948 from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc vines planted in Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast, not previously considered particularly worthwhile wine country but ideal for the French varieties.

The first commercial release was the 1968 vintage, but due to Tuscany’s strict appellation laws the wine had to be labelled as Vina da Tavola or ‘table wine’.

These laws not only restricted the use of non-indigenous varieties, they even prescribed a Chianti Classico recipe that was detrimental to the wine’s quality: 100% Sangiovese Chianti was banned, and the blend had to include certain lower quality varieties, including at least 10% white varieties.

A movement therefore began with quality-minded Chianti producers. One of the first was Antinori, whose 1971 Tignanello was a Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon blend from the Classico zone, but declassified to Vino da Tavola.

As these wines from within and beyond Chianti punched well above their lowly Vino da Tavola status, they collectively became known as Super Tuscans. The term became synonymous with adventurous winemaking, with producers experimenting with French barriques and new viticultural methods.

Changes

Nowadays, Super Tuscans can have IGT, DOC or DOCG status. For instance, Sassicaia has its own sub-appellation, Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC, and the IGT classification was created in 1992 specifically to recognise the quality of these ‘outsider’ wines.

Chianti laws have since changed in an effort to attract the three Super Tuscans from the Classico zone – Tignanello, Cepparello and Flaccianello – back into the appellation, resulting in adjustments to the blend requirements and eventually banning white grapes completely in 2006.

While these three wines can be labelled as Chianti Classico DOCG, they have so far remained under the IGT classification.

Top Super Tuscan wines reviewed by Decanter’s experts:


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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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