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White wine making

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


White wine 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 coexist 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 (see also 11 steps to make wine).


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 must.

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, sparkling, madeirized...

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.

Red Wine

Rosé Wine




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