Red wine. We sip it, slurp it, love it. It’s not hard to appreciate a good glass of red, but have you ever wondered how they make every mouthful so wonderful? From grape to bottle, we’re breaking down the intricate steps that goes into making red wine perfect.
So sit back, relax, and maybe even pour a glass…
Step 1 – Grape Picking
Every bottle of wine begins with a grape, but before they are even picked there are several steps to making sure each and every grape is ripe, juicy, and delicious. They start by analysing their PH to check their sweetness levels. This is often done by trying the grapes and testing how they feel! They then calculate the weight before picking the grapes, either by hand or machine. Whilst both are effective, Vinters prefer to pick by hand as the grapes are fragile and require a lot of care.
Step 2 – Sorting
After carefully selecting the vines, the grapes are de-stemmed by hand and other unwanted parts are removed from the conveyer-belt. Once sorted, the grapes are then transferred to Vats, which are usually made of Stainless steel. They are then crushed to release their flavours and juices, or transported whole. When the berries are left whole, the wine is often more powerful and rounded, as the fermentation (the process of grapes turning into wine) is done more gently.
Step 3 – Maceration
Once in the Vats, the fermenting grapes begin a process of Maceration, where the colour, flavour and tannins are extracted from the skins and pips. During this process, Alcoholic Fermentation takes place, either naturally or through adding yeast to the vats. Winemakers allow this process to take up to 4 weeks so that the tannins are strong and rich.
Step 4 – Pressing
After alcoholic fermentation, the existing juice is then removed from the skins and they are pressed to release any additional flavours and juice. The wine is then transported to a new vessel which is often made of stainless steel or wooden barrels, known as Barrique. This process softens the wine and leaves it with a smother texture.
Step 5 – Evelage
Elevage, also known as maturation, is the process of leaving the wine to develop for 12-24 months. In this stage, the wine is transported to a different barrel to remove any unwanted sediment. This step is critical to developing the delicious flavours we love in a glass of red, so is done in a very lengthy and controlled manner.
Step 6 – Blending
One of our final steps is one of the most important and time consuming. Winemakers will blend several grape varieties to produce unique and delicious combinations. This is a lengthy process as if the bend is not perfect, it will be repeated several times until the combination is just right. Some wines can be a blend of over 100 varieties, so you can imagine how long this process can take!
Step 7 – Filtration and Bottling
Once the wine is blended to perfection, they can finally begin the process of filtration. This occurs as the wine is transported from barrel to bottle, and the seal is added! The wines are then transported across the world to shops like ours, and enjoyed by people like you!
So, there you have it! The complete step by step method that goes into making every bottle of wine! Did you learn something new? What process would you like us to dive into next? Drop us a message on our Facebook or Insta to let us know!
Love Cheese x
Written by Maddie Bricklebank