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How Wine is Made

A good tour of a winery will take you to each area where the winemaking process is carried out, which will give you a greater appreciation for wine.

The grapes used for making wine ripen in late August or September depending on the seasonal conditions and of course the continent. The winemaker tastes the grapes and measures the sugar content to decide exactly when to harvest the fruits.

Vineyard workers then work to harvest the grapes as quickly as possible. The harvested grapes are dropped into bins that are trucked to the winery to be crushed.

This is where the production processes of red wine are different from those of white wine. When the grapes are crushed, the skin and seeds remain with red wines but the skins and seeds are removed for white wines.

How Wine is made For red wine, the juice, skins, and seeds are poured into stainless steel tanks (winemaking equipment) where the fermenting takes place.

The winemaker will add yeast to this grape juice; the fermentation begins when the yeast begins to digest the sugars which are in the grape juice. Carbon dioxide and alcohol are also produced during this process.

Following fermentation, the wines are poured into barrels (winemaking equipment), where they will stay to age. Typically, the wine is aged in 60-gallon oak barrels.

During the time that the wine is in the barrel for aging, they are racked (winemaking equipment), where the wine is pumped from one barrel to an empty barrel any solid products which are left in the first barrel are removed and then the barrel is used again.

After months of aging in the barrels the wine is moved into the bottle where it will stay at the winery and continue to age. When the wine is sufficiently aged in the bottle, the wine is ready to be shipped to the shops for the end consumers.

Here is some information on how much wine is made from a ton of grapes and how many wine bottles are in a barrel of wine. (See Wine Facts)

One Acre of Vineyards will produce between 2 (high quality) and 10 (lower quality) tons of grapes, and 1 ton of grapes will yield approximately 700 bottles of wine.

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