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.
Phylloxera
A sign in Barossa Valley in 2012.

What is phylloxera?

The post What is phylloxera in the vineyard? appeared first on Decanter.


Phylloxera
A sign in Barossa Valley in 2012.

What is phylloxera?

The post What is phylloxera in the vineyard? appeared first on Decanter.

Phylloxera
A sign in Barossa Valley in 2012.

An international team of scientists has succeeded in mapping the phylloxera genome, more than 150 years since the tiny insect clandestinely travelled from the US to Europe and set about destroying huge swathes of vineyard.

It has taken more than 70 experts from eight countries nearly a decade to crack phylloxera’s genetic code, which includes ‘the largest gene family identified in a genome to date’, according to French research agency INRAE.

Why is phylloxera so feared?

After arriving in Europe as a stowaway in the early 1860s – and perhaps slightly earlier – the phylloxera pest is thought to have destroyed half of France’s vineyard area over the next few decades.

This naturally prompted despair among winemakers, and other countries were also badly affected, both in Europe and beyond.

Winemakers began to gain the upper hand once it was discovered that phylloxera could be beaten by grafting ‘vitis vinifera’ grapevines onto resistant American rootstocks.

This is still common practice, but not everywhere in the wine world. In many cases, ungrafted vines remain vulnerable to the pest, which attacks the roots in order to feed. Phylloxera therefore remains an ongoing concern.

Chile is considered the only major wine producing country to have largely avoided infestation, although pockets of untouched areas exist elsewhere, and the insect is believed to struggle on sandy soils.

The work to map the phylloxera genome, published in the BMC Biology journal, also shows that it likely comes from the upper Mississippi River.

The pest entered Europe by hitching a ride on the vitis riparia species, a wild type of American vine, according to the new research.

It is now hoped that unlocking phylloxera’s genome can help to improve ways of combating the insect.

INRAE said, ‘This new knowledge also serves to improve our understanding of biological invasions and their potentially disastrous consequences on agriculture and therefore on society and the economy.’

This page was originally published in 2010, but has been updated in July 2020. 


From the archive:

Is the Mission variety resistant to phylloxera?

Grapevine trunk disease: The ‘next phylloxera’

Vine diseases now top priority for French winemakers


The post What is phylloxera in the vineyard? 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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