We usually take out our favorite bottle of wine, pour ourselves a glass and enjoy the drink without giving a second thought to what we’re actually drinking! Yes, its wine. But, what is really in that glass of wine that we love to drink? Vine Vera tries to answer one of the least thought about, but one of the most important questions when it comes to wine – what is wine really? To continue with this week’s theme of Vineyard Beauty, Vine Vera decided to dedicate one article to the beauty of wine itself. Is it the manufacturing process? Is it the way it’s grown? Is it how the wine is mixed and stored? What really makes your glass of wine so different from the rest?
Vine Vera discovered that the science behind wine making is actually very simple. Wine isn’t made from the grapes that sit on our tables and satiate our appetites. Wine is made from wine grapes. These grapes are sweeter and they’re actually picked at a time to give them the perfect sweetness quotient. Once the grape reaches the appropriate balance between its sweetness and acidity, vineyards harvest these grapes. For the common man, the simplest way to determine if a grape is ready for harvest or not is to see if birds are eating the grapes. If yes, harvest season is close.
Once the grapes have been picked, they are transported to the wine manufacturing facility and processed using different methods. While producing red wine, the skin and the stems are left in contact with the juice in order to create a rich color and offer an excellent taste. If white wine is being produced, the skin contact is removed in order to prevent the extraction of color.
The next step involves the fermentation of grape musts with yeast. Most winemakers prefer to use saccharomyces cerevisiae, but other species of yeast can also be used for making wine. Ultimately, the more the sugar content, the higher the alcohol content in the wine. The wine that you end up with is simply a result of this fermentation. Apart from the fermentation process, some wines are also filed and filtered to offer more clarity.
The next step deals with wine aging. Wine can be aged using several different types of vessels, but steel barrels or oak barrels are the most popular mediums used. So the next time you find an oak flavor in your wine, you can understand that it has been aged using an oak barrel.
This, however, is the most basic process of making wine. Each winemaker makes the wine in a way that suits its brand and each step can have all sorts of variations. This is why we see so many different types of wine in the market. If you’re really interested in understanding what goes into your bottle, Vine Vera recommends you to go for a trip to your favorite vineyard and watch the makers live in action. Many vineyards and wineries offer guests a range of wine tours, that include things like tasting, property tours, trips to the manufacturing facility and winemaking education.
Once you do have a vineyard experience in your pocket, you should be able to enjoy your glass of wine even more because it gives you a sense of the artistry and mastery that has gone into creating that bottle of wine!