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Kasteel in frankrijk bij een wijnplantage voor een wijnproeverij

Winemaking in St Emilion  

  Bordeaux France

Wine is made from the fruit of the vine. The main factors that determine how a wine will taste are: the grape variety used, the environment in which the grape grows such as climate, weather, soil and slope, the care with which the grapes are grown and harvested, the way the wine is made and the way it matures.

The most important part of the wine tasting process is fermentation. Yeasts feed on the sugars in the grape juice, producing alcohol, carbon dioxide and heat; in the process they convert the aromas and flavors of the grape juice into those of wine. The pulp of almost every grape variety is white. The color of rosé and red wine comes from the skins that the winemaker soaks in the fermenting juice. If the peels are removed quickly, the juice will have little or no color. In this way, rosé is made from black grapes and not mixed with red and white wine as some people think. White wine can be made from white or blue grapes; red wine can only come from red grapes.

If you want to know more about wine making, we can go deeper into this matter during a wine tasting.

  • White wine
    To make white wine, the grapes are usually first crushed so that the skins burst open. Then they go to the press where the juice and peels are separated. Yeast is added and the must goes to a fermentation vessel, which is often a stainless steel temperature controlled tank. White wines ferment at low temperatures to preserve freshness and fruit aromas.

  • Red wine
    Blue grapes for red wine are crushed to extract the juice after which juice and skins go together in the fermenter. Fermentation takes place at higher temperatures than in white wine. Alcohol helps to extract the dyes, tannins and flavors from the peels. To allow the juice to come into good contact with the skins, the juice is pumped over the grape skins or the skins are dipped back into the juice. The amount of color and tannin in the final wine depends on the length of contact between juice and skins. It also depends on the amount of tannin, coloring and flavor in the peels, which is different for each variety. When sufficient color and tannin has been extracted from the skins, the winemaker drains the wine. The skins are pressed (press wine with more flavors and tannins) which can be mixed with the wine later to get the desired taste.

  • Rose
    Like red wine, rosé must be made from black grapes. The production method is the same as with red wine, only rosé yeast at a lower temperature. The contact with the skins is also shorter, so that the wine acquires the pink color.

  • Aromas of oak wood
    Wine that is stored in wooden barrels gets a certain taste like wood or vanilla. These flavors are caused by the type of barrels used such as French or American wood, the toast on the inside of the barrel and the oxygen that enters through the wooden barrel in very small amounts and dissolves in the wine. Caring for a wine that is stored in barrels and where you must always prevent too much oxygen from entering is very labour-intensive.

  • maturation
    Maturation can take place in small or large wooden barrels or large stainless steel tanks. This is the winemaker's choice because in wooden barrels the wine gets more flavor while in stainless steel tanks the flavors remain fresh and fruity and constant. There is also a difference in taste between the small or large wooden barrels, new, used or old barrels, etc. Which barrel is used depends entirely on the wine style and therefore the choice of the winemaker.


Click on the video: work in the vineyard of a small wine farm in the prestigious Bordeaux city of St. Emilion.

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