The Wine Making Process

People have been drinking wine for more than 5,000 years. This $26 billion a year industry in the United States is much more than just a flavorful beverage that compliments dinner; that is, wine also has proven health benefits. Red wine is rich in flavonoids and it may protect your heart by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol, increasing HDL (good cholesterol), and reducing blood clotting. Additionally, white wine can help to improve lung function.

Wine production is an annual event that spans the globe, resulting in numerous varieties to choose from. Regardless of location (e.g., France, Italy, United States), the wine making process remains the same. Details are provided below.

stepsWineMaking.jpg

Step 1: CRUSHER - Grapes are conveyed to a de-stemmer/crusher where grape leaves and stems are removed, and grapes are crushed.

Step 2: FERMENTATION - Most red grapes go to the fermenter for primary fermentation while most white grapes are pressed prior to fermentation. Yeast is added to start the fermentation.

Step 3: PRESS - After fermentation, red wines go to press to separate the wine from the grape skins.

Step 4: TANK - Most wines are settled in large stainless steel or upright oak tanks.

Step 5: BARREL - After settling, red wines and fuller-bodied white wines are put into small oak barrels for barrel aging.

Step 6: FILTER - After barrel aging and prior to bottling, some wines are filtered to help stabilize and clarify them.

Step 7: BOTTLE - Finished wines are bottled.

Step 8: AGING - (OPTIONAL) Wines may be aged further in a bottle.