Wine making process
Winemaking is not only an art, but also a science. It combines the process of fermentation with the creativity of the winemaker. The fermentation process starts when yeast is added to grape juice. The yeast consumes the grape’s sugar and converts it to alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Each grape variety has its own identifiable characteristics. However, it is the winemaker who creates the style and personality of the finished wines. There is no fixed “recipe” for making certain wines, only general guidelines.
The winemaker “guides” the winemaking process using a variety of techniques to best express his or her style in each wine. These following stages depict the fundamentals of winemaking. The winemaker’s options exist within this framework.
Harvest time is the defining moment in the winemaking process. Grapes are harvested during the cool morning hours and moved to the winery in open bins.
Grapes are transferred to a stemmer/crusher where the stems are removed and the grapes are crushed. Some grapes may bypass the stemmer/crusher and go directly to the press for whole berry pressing.
After crushing and de-stemming, the juice from the grapes is put into the fermentation vats, where alcoholic fermentation takes place.
After fermentation, the wine is transferred or “racked” into a different vessel. In some instances, the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks. In other instances, the wine is put into oak barrels where it will continue its development until bottling. After barrel ageing and prior to bottling, some wines are fined and filtered to help stabilize and clarify them.
This is the last stage before the slow and relatively lengthy ageing process. Wines are bottled in a sterile environment, and sealed with a cork or other enclosures
Wine Storage Solutions:
Residential and commercial aficionados need wine storage solutions that are built for the way they live and work.
Logical way to organize a wine cellar:
Regardless of size, most people organize by region. Dedicating one room to Bordeaux, one to Burgundy and so on. In each room, the shelves are organized by drinkability. Ready-to-drink wines are stored at waist-to-eye level; wines that require aging go up higher, since they don’t need to be as accessible.
The key is that the storage has to be flexible. Even people with established collections shift their inventory, so try to incorporate several storage options—for cases and for different sizes, like magnums and half-bottles.
Best way to store cases of wine:
Cases come in different sizes, so it’s important to build shelves on movable brackets, so that they’re adjustable. Most wood cases are Bordeaux-size, which is 8 inches high, 14 inches wide and 22 inches deep. But others are bigger. Ann Colgin of Colgin Cellars in Napa Valley, for instance, packs her wine in a six-bottle wood case that’s a little bigger than standard. Boutique producers are getting more creative with packaging, putting their wines into unusual bottles that will stand out at a restaurant.
Best temperature and humidity for storing wine:
A cellar should be kept at 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 to 75 percent humidity. Some people keep the cellar a tad warmer if they have a lot of young wines and a tad cooler if they have older ones. Wine ages more slowly in lower temperatures.
use a spray-on foam insulation, in cellar walls; it makes a nice, tight room, so it takes less energy to control the temperature.