Crushing and destemming
The grapes arriving in the cellar are crushed and destemmed.
The fruits free their juice and pulp.
The must obtained that way is put in a tank to go trough the process
The fermentation tanks are generally oak barrels or stainless
steel tanks, sometimes concrete or enamelled steel.
Fermentation is a natural process. Yeasts present in grapes (however
the addition of selected yeasts is generalising) change the sugar
contained in the must in alcohol and carbonic gas.
The winemaker assist the action of the yeasts by maintaining the
temperature around 25 to 30°C and ventilating the must regularly.
Under 25°C the wine will not have enough body, above 30°C,
the wine will be to tannic.
The fermentation process goes on for 4 to 10 days.
It is the period during which the tannic elements and the
colour of the skin diffuse in the fermented juice. The contact
between the liquid (Must) and the solids elements (skin, pips
and sometimes stem) will give body and colour to the wine.
At this stage, complex operation will prove the talent of the
winemaker (dissolution, extraction, excretion, diffusion, decoction,
For "Vins primeurs" or "Vins nouveaux" (new wines) the maceration
is very short, the vines are supple and contain little tannin.
Wines destined to be kept long need a lot of tannin, so the maceration
can be long. It goes on for several days, may be several weeks.
The wine is separated from the solids, the pomace. The wine
obtained by raking is called "free run wine" (vin de goutte).
The pomace is pressed in order to extract the juice it still contains.
This wine is called "press wine" (vin de presse). It is richer
Depending on the winemaker target or the local habit, free run
wine and press wine are blended or treated separately.
It is the process during which the malic acid of wine changes
into lactic acid and carbonic gas under the action of bacteria
naturally present in the wine. Malic acid is harsh, it is changed
into lactic acid supple and stable.
This fermentation is obtained in a tank during a few weeks at
a temperature between 18° and 20°C.
The vinification is finished but the wine is not. To be able
to age and to improve the wine must be clarified again. After
that the beverage will be put in oak casks where it will stabilize.
The diversity of red wine is such that it can go with any type
of food. But you must absolutely not conclude from this that all
red wines are identical.