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Monthly Archives: September 2020

  1. Barrel Ageing

    Today, in many regions, the properties of new oak barrels are used for red wine and, to a lesser extent, for white wines such as Chardonnay. A wine that’s aged in oak gains spicy and toasted or grilled flavours.

    Barrel Ageing - A Recent Fashion

    Since the 1970s, when oaky flavours in wine started to become fashionable, ageing wine in new oak barrels became widespread. But it’s not just for the oaky flavours that a winemaker may decide to age wine in a barrel.

    Size and Age of Barrels

    The word barrel is used generically to describe all wooden barrels. However, barrels come in different sizes. The most well-known barrels are the Bordeaux, which holds 225 litres, and the Burgandy, which holds 228 litres.

    Over time and through a process of trial and error, the ideal size for a barrel was determined (an average capacity of between 200 and 230 litres became accepted) and the Bordeaux bar

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  2. The Art of Maturation

    Maturation takes place between the end of fermentation and bottling. Once the wine is bottled, ageing takes over.

    Aims and Duration of Maturation

    Winemakers have two objectives when maturing their wine:

    1. to clarify the wine; and
    2. to allow the wine to develop and acquire complex flavours.

    The length of maturation depends on the type of wine being produced. For simple wines maturation will last a few weeks or even days. For most wines, the maturation period will be a few months but for high-quality wines, maturation can take two years or more.

    Depending on the type of wine being produced maturation may take place in large scale tanks or in small volume oak barrels.

    Clarifying Wine

    After fermentation wine still contains small particles of grape material, yeast, and bacteria suspended in the liquid. Known as lees,

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  3. The Art of Fermentation

    Fermentation is a natural process that has been used for centuries all over the world to create alcoholic drinks.

    There are two basic phases in fermentation: alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation.


    Alcoholic fermentation

    Fermentation is a complex yet natural process and begins once the sugars inside the grape come into contact with the natural yeasts present on the thin film that covers each grape berry. These yeasts, which are small organisms, feed on the sugars and excrete carbon dioxide and ethanol (alcohol). There are other by-products of the fermentation process such as glycerol, which make the wine rich, esters (aromatic) compounds, aldehydes, and acids. All of these by-products make a significant contribution to the flavour of wine and are mainly responsible for many secondary aromas in the wine.

    Alcoholic fermentation will end when all the sugars have been converted to alcohol. If

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