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.
sparkling wine is poured into glasses

How can Australian producers label their wines ‘Prosecco’?

The post Labelling Australian Prosecco - Ask Decanter appeared first on Decanter.


sparkling wine is poured into glasses

How can Australian producers label their wines ‘Prosecco’?

The post Labelling Australian Prosecco - Ask Decanter appeared first on Decanter.

sparkling wine is poured into glasses

Luca Bocca, by email, asks: How can Australian producers label their wines ‘Prosecco’ when the name is an Italian DOC and protected by Italian and European law?

Tina Gellie, Decanter’s regional editor for Australia, replies: When is Prosecco not Prosecco? When it’s Glera! In 2009, when government officials in Veneto, Italy, realised how popular their fizz was becoming, they set out to protect it. But because you can only protect a geographic indication or GI (like Champagne) not grapes (like Pinot Noir or Chardonnay), they changed the name of the Prosecco grape to its Friulian synonym of Glera and announced that the name ‘Prosecco’ was for the DOC.

Unfortunately, no other international winemaking bodies were consulted. And, back in 1997 – 10 years before these changes – cuttings of the grape had found their way to Australia in the pockets of the Dal Zotto family of Valdobbiadene, who planted the first vines in Victoria’s King Valley in 1999.

Today there are 120ha of Prosecco planted across 11 Australian regions, producing about 20 million bottles, according to Wine Australia. The country’s Prosecco exports are worth A$60 million (£32.5m) annually and are predicted to rise to A$500m over the next decade.

In 2013, the EU tried to register Prosecco as a GI in Australia but the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (now called Australian Grape & Wine) successfully argued that Prosecco had been known as a grape variety long before 2009 when the EU began recognising it as a GI. The issue flared up again in 2018 when Australia and the EU started negotiating a free trade agreement. As part of the deal, Italy wanted exclusive rights to the Prosecco name. In 2020 the Australian government gave Melbourne’s Monash University funding to look into the legal basis of using GIs in trade agreements. Researchers at Monash believe that enforcing a GI for Prosecco would contravene World Trade Organisation rules. So the battle continues. And unless there is a resolution in favour of Italy, Australian producers can continue to make and sell Prosecco.

This was first published in the August 2021 issue of Decanter magazine.


See also:

New law forces Champagne to be relabelled as ‘sparkling wine’ in Russia

Prosecco vs Champagne: What’s the difference?

Decanter travel guide: King Valley, Australia

The post Labelling Australian Prosecco - Ask Decanter 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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