Winemaking is the deliberate fermenting of grape juice to produce wine. This process is complex and involves many steps that include not only harvesting and producing the wine but also storing and selling it. The video by GuildSomm Introduction to winemaking sheds light on such bewildering art and allows viewers to observe the behind-the-scenes as well as learn a few pieces of advice on the process.
A winemaker’s duty is to synchronize the making of the wine in the bottle from the moment they choose a vineyard to determine the right vision and approach. Although cultivation and winemaking are intricately intertwined, the latter process may be thought of as beginning with the choice to harvest the grapes (GuildSomm, 2019). The major purpose is to guarantee that the fruit is maintained cold and unbroken and reaches the winery as soon as possible (GuildSomm, 2019). Winemakers must later determine whether the grapes should be destemmed or the whole clusters should be fermented, as well as whether to purposefully crush the fruit.
It is noteworthy to mention that, according to the narrator, there is no one correct approach to creating wine. When it comes to any given issue, two prominent producers will almost always reach opposing opinions (GuildSomm, 2019). Expertise, instinct, and a grasp of how the intricate combination of hundreds of decisions may lead to the desired result are the keys to successful winemaking (GuildSomm, 2019). However, while approaches might differ, the process still includes further steps.
After the fruit has been processed, the liquid is moved to fermentation containers, which can be constructed of steel material, wood, or concrete and available in a range of sizes. The temperature of fermentation is determined by the structure of the container (GuildSomm, 2019). Sugar is then transformed into alcohol and carbon dioxide, and the tank is usually stirred one to three times a day throughout the whole process. When fermentation is finished, the fresh wine is drained from the skins. Though wine might thrive from a modest amount of air, the presence of sulfur dioxide protects most wines against severe oxidation (GuildSomm, 2019). Depending on the quality of the grapes and the type of the wine, sulfur dioxide can actually be added at different stages of the winemaking process.
The following process after this would be filtration, which is the process of eliminating sediment from the liquid or yeast and bacteria. In rare situations, the wine may be slightly hazy (GuildSomm, 2019). The producer then believes that the haze may be a little acidic and that relatively light filtering to purify the wine may possibly make it taste sweeter (GuildSomm, 2019). Fining materials like egg whites or clay can be used to enhance a wine’s tannin texture, purity, or scent (GuildSomm, 2019). The very last step is bottling, which can be seen as an opportunity to establish the value and quality of the product.
Thus, the overall steps to winemaking include harvesting, fermenting, and bottling. However, while the core principles of winemaking are similar, procedures vary by geography, grape type, and wine-making technique, prompting winemakers to create distinctive interpretations. Every wine is a fresh experience with its own path, and if a winemaker pays attention, the product will tell them what it wants to be and where it wants to go. Patience is essential in the winemaking process, and impatience is something that every winemaker wishes to avoid because this process will require numerous decisions.
GuildSomm. (2019). Introduction to winemaking. YouTube. Web.