The first fermentation called alcoholic starts above 16°C (60°F). Sugars are turned into alcohol while carbon dioxide and heat are released.
Alcoholic fermentation usually takes place in vats (steel or cement) where it is easy to control both temperature and speed of fermenation. An error at this stage can result in wine faults.
The pomace (skin+pips) is then pressed and mixed with the fermented must. Now can the second fermentation (malolactic) start.
"Whole Cluster " fermentation means that stems and seeds are kept in contact with skins during alcoholic fermentation. Stems are naturally rich in tannins and the wine will reflect green, herbaceous and vegetal notes (unripe, green stems) or spicy, peppery, tobacco, black tea, forest floor notes (brown and woody stems). Whole cluster fermentation is the ancient practice and can be used with any red grape variety, but it's more common with Pinot Noir (thin skin), Syrah, Gamay and Grenache (GSM wines). Burgundy region and Pinot Noir grape are historically linked to this technique.
Destemming means to remove the stems from the grape bunches before fermenation.
Carbonic Maceration is a winemaking technique where the grapes are not crushed and alcoholic fermentation starts inside the berries. A sealed vat is filled with carbon dioxide.
Malolactic bacteria consume malic acid (naturally present in the grape) and convert it to lactic acid. MLF is essentially the conversion of malic acid into lactic acid. As a result the wines become rounder, fuller and less acidic. Practically easier to drink and to match with food.
After the two fermentations are completed, the wine is separeted from its lees (dead yeast cells) and sulfites are added to protect against oxydation. Now it´s time to sleep! Barrel fermentation, storage, and aging will cause the wine to absorb taste from the wood, like vanilla, caramel, spices, smoke and toast flavors.
Alcohol can be addictive. Drink in moderation.
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