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.

Entries to the 2020 Decanter Retailer Awards close in just one month, then the judging begins. Ahead of this, get to know the newest member of the 2020 judging panel, Kate Hawkings, as she addresses the UK wine retail industry, current trends and more.

Tell us about yourself. How did you get into the drinks industry? I come from a restaurant background, beginning as a waitress when I was a student (MANY years ago) where I fell in love with the world of eating and drinking, and that’s where I began to learn about wine. I went on to […]

The post Decanter Retailer Awards judge spotlight: Q&A with Kate Hawkings appeared first on Decanter.


Entries to the 2020 Decanter Retailer Awards close in just one month, then the judging begins. Ahead of this, get to know the newest member of the 2020 judging panel, Kate Hawkings, as she addresses the UK wine retail industry, current trends and more.

Tell us about yourself. How did you get into the drinks industry? I come from a restaurant background, beginning as a waitress when I was a student (MANY years ago) where I fell in love with the world of eating and drinking, and that’s where I began to learn about wine. I went on to […]

The post Decanter Retailer Awards judge spotlight: Q&A with Kate Hawkings appeared first on Decanter.

Entries to the 2020 Decanter Retailer Awards close in just one month, then the judging begins. Ahead of this, get to know the newest member of the 2020 judging panel, Kate Hawkings, as she addresses the UK wine retail industry, current trends and more.

Tell us about yourself. How did you get into the drinks industry?
I come from a restaurant background, beginning as a waitress when I was a student (MANY years ago) where I fell in love with the world of eating and drinking, and that’s where I began to learn about wine. I went on to buy wine and compose wine lists for restaurants, as well as writing on food and travel for various publications. I began writing on wine and other drinks several years ago and, despite the very precarious nature of freelance work, I haven’t really looked back.

As a new judge for the 2020 awards competition, what’s your impression of the Decanter Retailer Awards?
Recognising and rewarding excellence is always a good thing, not only as a support to retailers who go that extra mile, but also by informing the public who they are and where to find them.

What do you think is unique about the UK wine retail industry?
I travel a lot for work (or used to, before Covid) and always make a point of visiting local wine shops when I’m abroad. The Brits are way more eclectic and adventurous in their wine tastes than anywhere else I’ve been, and there are loads of retailers who cater to their needs, both specialist online retailers or high street shops stocked with really interesting ranges.

What’s a wine trend that you’re currently seeing in the retail industry?
Well, apart from the obvious Covid-related impetus for retailers being really nimble to get their goods to market, I’m seeing impressive stats on the growth of BIBs and other alt-format wine packaging. The environmental impact of making and transporting glass bottles is rightly being addressed by the wine industry, more and more sustainably minded makers are putting good juice into bags, and consumers seem to like their quality and convenience as well as their eco-credentials.

What do you think makes a wine retailer stand out?
Engagement with customers – finding out what they like, what they’re eating and what they want to spend, then steering them towards new discoveries as well as reliable favourites, and making them feel empowered rather than intimidated. Covid has changed the goalposts massively; the best retailers, who were used to dealing with customers face-to-face, are offering similar levels of engagement as they switch to online sales.

What do you look for when buying wine for yourself?
Tough question! I tend to steer clear of famous names from famous places and look for wines from unusual grapes made in less well-known places as I think they so often offer great value for money, and I love discovering new things.

Given the current situation, how are you shopping for wine/drinks at the moment, and what are you drinking at home right now?
I’m very lucky in that I get sent a lot of wine samples so don’t buy very much for myself. Having said that, I’ve been doing a fortnightly Zoom tasting with some friends when we taste the same wines together. We’ve been buying some lovely things from Vine Trail in Bristol, where we live – like many importers, they used to sell mainly to the on-trade but have opened their lists to private customers. Tonight we’re tasting (drinking, let’s be honest) Galician wines – a white blend from Augalevada, aged in barrel and tinajas, and Bodegas Albamar’s O Esteiro, a foot-trodden red blend from very old vines.

Learn more about the Decanter Retailer Awards 2020 judging panel here.


Decanter Retailer Awards 2019 Results

UK wine retailers: Enter the 2020 Decanter Retailer Awards now


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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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