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Red wine making

Winemaking techniques :
- White - Rosé - (vinegar) - 11 steps to make wine

The steps in the red wine making process are :

Crushing and destemming the grapes

The grapes just arriving in the cellar are crushed and destemmed to release their juice and pulp.

The must obtained that way is put in a tank to go trough the process of fermentation.

Alcoholic fermentation

Fermentation is a natural process. Yeasts living in the grapes - the addition of selected yeasts is generalizing - change the sugar contained in the must in alcohol and carbonic gas (see also the composition of wine).

The winemaker assist the action of the yeasts by maintaining the temperature around 25 to 30°C and by 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 until the maceration and then the malolactic fermentation.


It is the period when the tannic elements and the color 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 color to the wine.

At this stage, complex operation will prove the talent of the winemaker: dissolution, extraction, excretion, diffusion, decoction, infusion.

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 needs to be long. The wine will macerate for several days, maybe several weeks.


The wine is separated from the solids, the pomace. The wine obtained by raking is called "free run wine" (vin de goutte).

Sometimes, 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 in tannin.

Depending on the winemaker taste or the local habit, free run wine and press wine are blended or treated separately.

Malolactic fermentation

It is the process during which the malic acid of wine changes into lactic acid and carbonic gas under the action of bacteria living 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 wine making process 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 match any type of food. But you must absolutely not conclude from this that all red wines taste the same.

White Wine

Rosé Wine




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