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.
france heatwave
Vineyards bask in sunlight near to Carcassonne.

Vineyard workers have faced extra-early starts...

The post ‘Unprecedented’ French heatwave affects vineyard work appeared first on Decanter.


france heatwave
Vineyards bask in sunlight near to Carcassonne.

Vineyard workers have faced extra-early starts...

The post ‘Unprecedented’ French heatwave affects vineyard work appeared first on Decanter.

france heatwave
Vineyards bask in sunlight near to Carcassonne.

French officials have issued a public health alert ahead of expected record June temperatures, set to hit 45 degrees Celsius in southern areas.

Exams have been postponed and designated ‘cool rooms’ were being opened in public buildings as authorities seek to prioritise vulnerable citizens, mindful of the 2003 heatwave that killed thousands of people, particularly the elderly.

In the vineyards, work schedules are being adapted to cope.

‘Members of my team in the vineyards have to start very early in the morning before dawn and need to finish before noon before the heat becomes unbearable,’ said Antoine Malassagne, winemaker and fourth generation co-owner at Champagne AR Lenoble.

It’s a similar story in Burgundy. Domaine Faiveley has asked teams to work from 5am until midday latest, according to Erwan Faiveley, the seventh generation of the family to run the domaine. ‘We try to be as accommodating as we can. Bodies are suffering under those conditions,’ he told Decanter.com.

In nearby Chablis, France’s BFMTV reported vineyard workers beginning shifts up to four hours earlier than normal to avoid the worst of the heat.

Impact on vineyards

Faiveley said he did not expect a major impact on vines, because the heatwave was forecast to be short-lived.

Malassagne said, ‘A heatwave later in the season – in July but especially in August – is more problematic as it creates the possibility of water stress, as well as l’échaudage des raisins – where the grapes are scorched by the sun.’

Back in Burgundy, Domaine AF Gros winemaker Mathias Parent said that heatwaves at this time of year could reduce disease risk in the vineyard.

But, he added that prolonged hot weather could also dry out soils and raise the risk of ‘dieback’ for vines grafted onto rootstock ‘161-49’, which is widely used in several French regions and susceptible to ‘thyllosis’ – where sap becomes blocked.

More frequent heatwaves

Weather group Météo-France has called the predicted heatwave ‘unprecedented for June’ based on records dating back to 1947.

It said that only a heatwave in 2005 between 18 and 28 June came close to present conditions.

Both 2017 and 2015 saw heatwaves in June and July respectively and Météo-France said that such spates of hot weather have arrived twice as often in the last 34 years, versus the period of records before that.

It predicted that heatwave frequency would double again by 2050 and emphasised the need to control carbon emissions.


 

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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.