What is Still Wine?
The still wine is obtained from the natural fermentation of the juice of freshly harvested grapes. The juice of both black and white grapes is colorless. The skin is separated either after complete fermentation or after achieving the desired color in the wine.
It may become dry, medium, or sweet after the fermentation process. If all the sugar in the must is fermented, the resulting wine will be dry and if some residual sugar is left after the fermentation, the wine tastes sweet.
What is the Process of Wine Making
At the start of the still wine production process let us know how wine is produced.
So, Wine is produced by the alcoholic fermentation of freshly harvested grape juice. Grapes naturally have the most important things needed for the fermentation process of sugar and yeast. The variety of grapes used in making a wine contributes to its characteristics.
Winemaking practices are implemented according to local traditions and practices. The wine obtained by natural fermentation is termed a table or still wine and the alcoholic content of this wine mostly ranges from 10-14%.
These are the steps in the wine production process:
1. Grape Harvest
The first step in winemaking is grape harvesting which can be accomplished either mechanically or manually.
The handpicked method is costly and time-consuming as it selects the best quality grapes. It is often used in the preparation of costly wines. The mechanical method is more efficient, cost-effective, and well-suited for large vineyards.
2. Crushing and Destemming
After the harvesting process, the grapes are crushed and destemmed quickly. The grapes are crushed in many ways according to the manufacturer’s choice.
The objective of crushing is not necessary to squeeze all the juice out of the grapes but to gently crack the skin and allow the juice to start its run.
The must is transferred to the fermentation tank which may be a wooden or stainless steel vat. If the molds and wild yeasts are allowed to develop the wine will be spoiled.
During the fermentation process, the yeasts act on the sugars in the juice and produce carbon dioxide gas and ethyl alcohol. Heat is given off during fermentation, which affects the taste of the wine and also speeds up the fermentation process.
By the end of fermentation, the new wine lies at the bottom of the vat. The solid matter is pressed to obtain “Vin de Presse”. It may be used for local consumption, blending, or in making spirits. Some wineries use stainless steel vat for aging which produces light red wine.
5. Aging (Maturation)
The wine is racked off its solids and placed in a container which is often an oak wood barrel to mature. During aging, the wine absorbs the vanilla flavor from the oak and interacts with the oxygen that invades through the fine pores. The other option available for maturation is a stainless steel tank.
6. Filtration and Fining
Wines require clarification as they are cloudy and contain very fine particles. The clarification is obtained by filtration and fining.
Filtration removes the solid matter from wines including dead yeast cells. Fining is carried out to make the wine clear and star bright.
7. Blending the Wines
Blending is the process of mixing wines of different years, ages, grapes, and regions to make either a new wine with a unique flavor or to maintain consistency in quality.
Acidic wines may be blended with fuller and rounder wines. Blended wines are then rested and fined again.
8. Bottling Wines
After blending, the wines are bottled in sterilized bottles. The wine bottle is slowly filled and topped with either nitrogen or carbon dioxide to displace any oxygen. Next, the bottles are labeled and they are sent for either further bottle aging or straight to the dealer for distribution.
Some Top Brands of Still Wines
- Fatinel Prosecco Extra Dry.
- Moet & Chandon Brut.
- Jack Rabbit Sauvignon Blanc.
- Bolla Delle Venezie Pinot Grigio.
- Hardy Private Bin Rose.
- Blossom Hill White Zinfandel.
- Concha y Toro Merlot.
Also read: The Types of German Wines and their labels