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.
New York State Wines

This northeastern state has now found its own identity

The post New York State: Regional profile appeared first on Decanter.


New York State Wines

This northeastern state has now found its own identity

The post New York State: Regional profile appeared first on Decanter.

New York State Wines

New York state has found a solution to global warming – at least for wine lovers. Ripeness and alcohol levels are being driven to unprecedented heights by rising temperatures in wine-producing regions around the world. Cool-climate New York, however, is providing a refreshing alternative. Adventurous wine lovers today can find delicious examples of everything from Blaufränkisch to Saperavi and Lagrein from New York.

This new-found confidence demonstrates a maturing wine industry. Over-extracted Merlot and over-oaked Chardonnay are far less common than they once were. Some 25 years ago, many producers were trying to imitate the high-scoring wines of the Napa Valley in California, but they often had little appeal outside the summer holidays. Today, New York’s wines are limpid and pure – and sommeliers are delighted.

The somewhat disappointing nature of the state’s early wines was not due to a lack of effort; the history of grape-growing in New York is long. The first vineyards were planted in the 17th century by Dutch settlers who found wild grapevines growing in the Hudson Valley. Native varieties are mostly from the species Vitis labrusca and Vitis riparia, which include the best-known local grapes Concord and Niagara (often used for juice and jam). They are very cold-hardy and resistant to phylloxera.

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<h3>‘Father of vinifera’</h3>
<p>There was little success with European wine-grape varieties (<em>Vitis vinifera</em>) until the 1950s and the pioneering work of Dr Konstantin Frank – a Ukrainian viticulturist who emigrated in 1951. Due to the difficulty of growing grapes in New York’s climate, vinifera was slow to catch on, even as business boomed for native varieties and hybrids. Fortunately for wine lovers, Dr Frank persisted.</p>
<p>His earliest success was with Riesling. Because of its relative tolerance of cold, the variety is a natural fit for the New York climate with its harsh winters. Riesling also does well in the shale soils of the Finger Lakes region. This compact sedimentary rock (similar to slate but softer and mixed with clay) limits vigour and yield, producing high-quality results. The region receives regular rainfall throughout the growing season and most of the vineyards are dry-farmed. Quality-oriented growers will install drainage tiles when planting a new vineyard.</p>
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<p>‘We’re having a much deeper conversation about sites. It’s no longer just “east side of the lake, west side of the lake” &#8211; Oskar Bynke, Hermann J Wiemer</p>
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<p>Riesling is still the core of the range at Dr Konstantin Frank today, but its founder was also an inveterate experimenter, with a PhD in viticulture from Odessa Polytechnic Institute. Among the varieties that he planted was the Georgian white grape Rkatsiteli, which the company still produces, in two versions: one is fermented on the skins, as in Georgian qvevri, and the other after pressing. Frank’s great-granddaughter Meaghan is working as general manager alongside her father Frederick. She enthuses about another Georgian variety, the red Saperavi: ‘This grape has a lot of potential here – it’s become a rising star partly because of its deep colour, which is [generally] difficult to achieve in the Finger Lakes.’</p>
<h3>Cool thinking</h3>
<p>Hermann J Wiemer was another early advocate of Riesling in the Finger Lakes; his family had been growers in Germany’s Mosel valley for generations. He moved to New York in 1968 to work for the Taylor Wine Co (later called Bully Hill), which had been producing wine from hybrids since the 19th century. Wiemer had his heart set on Riesling, however, and in 1974 he began to plant vineyards for his eponymous winery.</p>
<p>His protégé, Fred Merwarth, continues to fine-tune the relationship between the grape and the site. ‘The first site, our home vineyard (now called the HJW Vineyard), is cooler because it’s on shallow shale soils high up on the plateau. When you get closer to the lake, there’s more of a warming effect from the water.’ In 1999, Wiemer bought a site located 16km further north, where the fruit can ripen two weeks earlier. Merwarth’s business partner Oskar Bynke notes: ‘Now that we’re 40 years into it, we’re having a much deeper conversation about sites. It’s no longer just “east side of the lake” or “west side of the lake”.’</p>
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<h3 style="text-align: center;">New York State at a glance</h3>
<p><strong>Number of wineries:</strong> 403<br />
<strong>Area under vine:</strong> 1,400ha<br />
<strong>Most-planted varieties:</strong> Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir<br />
<strong>Production (2018):</strong> 1.1m hl<br />
<strong>First vineyard:</strong> 1647<br />
<strong>First commercial winery:</strong> Brotherhood in 1838<br />
<strong>AVAs (established):</strong> Finger Lakes (1982), Hudson River Region (1982), Lake Erie (1983), North Fork of Long Island (1986), Cayuga Lake (1988),<br />
Long Island (2001), Seneca Lake (2003), The Hamptons, Long Island (2005), Niagara Escarpment (2005), Champlain Valley of New York (2016), Upper Hudson (2019) </p>
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<h3>Regional diversity</h3>
<p>Differences are even more pronounced between different regions within New York state. More than 480km separates the Finger Lakes from the North Fork of Long Island – about the same distance as Rioja to Barcelona.</p>
<p>Bruce Schneider of Gotham Project has been making Cabernet Franc in both the New York regions for 25 years. ‘Cabernet Franc is definitely the red grape of New York State,’ he asserts.</p>
<p>‘Given the different climates we have in the Finger Lakes and Long Island, you can produce a range of styles. To me, the Finger Lakes has more in common with the Loire Valley in terms of climate, whereas on Long Island the wines are a little more full-bodied and structured, more like Right Bank Bordeaux.’</p>
<p>Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island frames the comparison differently, in terms of Riesling: ‘The Finger Lakes is similar to the Mosel, while Long Island is more like the Pfalz.’ Massoud would know – his mother’s family were growers in the Pfalz for several generations before emigrating.</p>
<p>Some have more of a New York frame of reference. Christopher Tracy is the winemaker at Channing Daughters. His first winemaking job was with the founding winemaker there, Larry Perrine, who had worked with Hermann Wiemer while doing graduate work at Cornell University. Tracy joined the team in 1998 and took over the winemaking in 2002.</p>
<p>The winery has grown steadily during this time. Channing Daughters now farms 12ha and sources fruit from a further 12ha. When he began, they produced four or five wines totalling 4,000-5,000 12-bottle cases annually. Now Channing Daughters produces more than 36 different wines and production can reach 16,000 cases.</p>
<p>According to Tracy: ‘One of the strengths of Long Island is its diversity. We can’t grow everything, but there’s a lot of things we can grow here.’ And they do, producing seven dry rosés, five skin-fermented whites, a full complement of whites and reds, a series of pét-nats and a range of vermouths for good measure.</p>
<p>His goals as a winemaker could serve as a manifesto for New York state: ‘I want the wines to be fun, joyful and hedonistic, but I still want consistency and above all purity of aroma and expression.’</p>
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"}

New York State Wines top 10: Curtis recommends

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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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