The steps in making wine: When you visit a winery for the first
time, you should take a tour if one is available. A good wine tour
will take you to each area of the winery where the winemaking process
takes place. It will give you a greater appreciation and love for
The grapes ripen in late August or September depending on the
seasonal climate conditions. The winemaker tastes the grapes,
chews the seeds, and measures the sugar content to decide when
to harvest the grapes.
Vineyard workers then work to harvest the grapes in the shortest
possible time. The harvested grapes are dropped into bins that
are trucked to the winery where they are crushed.
This is the spot where red wine differs from 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.
The juice, skins, and seeds (not for white wines) are poured
into stainless steel fermenting tanks.
The winemaker usually adds cultured yeast to this grape juice.
Fermentation begins when the yeast begins to digest the sugars
present in the grape juice. Carbon dioxide and alcohol are by-products
of this process.
During the fermentation of red wines, the grape skins are forced to the top of the tank or container forming a cap. This cap must be punched down at regular intervals to ensure quality.
Following fermentation, the wines are poured into barrels for
aging. Typically, the wine is aged in 60-gallon French or American
During the barrel aging, the wines are racked several times.
This means the wine is pumped from one barrel to an empty barrel.
Solids are removed from the bottom of the barrel and 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 and consumed by the wine lover.
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.
Related information to how wine is made at a winery: