is not really white but, in fact yellow. But the expression
being universal one says of a yellow wine that it is white.
Vinification of white wine is more delicate than vinification
of red wine.
Two methods exist to make white wine:
1. The first one is to use white grape ( which is in fact
green, greenish yellow, golden yellow or pinkish yellow!).
That way the white wine is the result of the fermentation
of the juice of white grapes juice only.
2. The second method is more complex. One uses the juice
of red grape-variety cleared of it skin and pips, with
which it must absolutely not get in contact as they contain
the coloring substances. It is possible to get white wine
that way but it is seldom done.
Time is counted :
Immediately after their arrival in the cellar, the grapes
are crushed but not destemed. The juice (free run must)
is sent to settle in containers. The rest of the grapes
is pressed as quickly as possible. Air is the enemy of
white wine. At its contact the wine oxidizes or becomes
colored. The must from pressing is added to the free run
Preparation of the must :
After six to twelve hours the particles and impurity
of the grape separate from the must and float on the surface.
They are removed by the raking of must. The must is ready
to be clarified. The clarified juice is poured in a tank,
ready to ferment.
Alcoholic fermentation :
White wine results of the fermentation of must only.
No solid (stem, skin, pips...) intervenes.
The control of the temperature is essential. It has to
be maintained around 18° C. The winemaker regularly
cools the must to allow the yeast to work correctly.
The fermentation goes on for two to three weeks. The winemaker
daily checks the evolution of the process.
When fermentation is over, the wine is put in cask and
raked, just like a red wine then it is bottled.
Winemakers often choose oak casks which gives the wine
the tannin it needs. But it will not be sufficient, tannin
is the essential element for aging. It is why white wine
does not keep as long as red wine.
On the other hand white wines present a larger variety
of tastes: very dry, dry, semi-dry, mellow, syrupy, petillant,
White wine can be drunk on any occasion: before, with
or after a meal, and even between meals.
White wines are often considered as aperitif wines, sometimes
as desert wines. Many people like to drink white wine
in hot weather. Its refreshing qualities are very well
known. White wine is served fresh but not chilled.