Jeff Branco
San Francisco, CA

Winery Equipment Testimonial

Ryan and I worked together at Justin Winery for five years and have known each other for ten. While at Justin, Ryan was passionately interested in the wine making process, could fix about anything and was totally dedicated to making the winery a success. He has taken that dedication to Vintner Vault and became a major player in the winery supply business in just a few years. Jeff Branco, former VP and Winemaker Justin Winery

Welcome to the Knowledge Vault!  Here you will find links to several studies and article on many wine making topics. This area is designed to offer you views on controversial issues from cork taint and closure type to extended maceration theories and much more. Allowing you views from professors to veteran wine makers so you may decide for yourself what is the best course of action for your wine making. After all, the most enjoyable thing about wine making is your chance to have a unique wine designed by your actions and belief in your wine making practices, so go on have fun!

The Vintner Vault

Winery Equipment & Wine Making Supplies!

Vigor Pump Start Up Proceedures (

Standard Pump Cart Operation (Yellow Wired Remote)
  • Please have a certified electrician install your plug of choice for your pump cart. The correct input voltage is noted both on the top and front of the main control box. (Note the Mini Vigor comes pre wired with a 110 volt plug)
  • Your first step should be to do a 15 minute “break in” of the impeller.
  • Generously apply some food grade silicone lubricant to both sides of the impeller.
  • Connect hoses to each side and run put them in a large bucket or bin filled with water.
  • The pumps are operated completely from the yellow remote. There is no need to use the front control panel for normal operation.
  • To operate the pump make sure the bottom dial on the remote is turned all the way to the left. This is the speed control. Turned to the left is off and the right is full speed.
  • Turn the top switch to either the right or the left position. (The display should read 0.0 and a light should show indicating either forward or reverse)
  • Turn the speed control quickly to the right about half way. This is done because it can be hard to get the impeller to start turning. If you do this too slowly the display might read an error message (Such as “SP”). If it does, simply un plug the pump and wait 90 seconds before plugging it back it and try again.
  • Once the pump is operating the display will show the speed with 0 being the slowest and 60 being the fastest.
  • For the “break in” period keep the speed around 30 (half way) and let it pump water for around 15 minutes. This is done to soften the impeller so it will be easier to get started in the future.
  • Your pump should now be ready for normal operation.
  • The Vigor 150, 200, & 300 are not designed to run at extremely slow speeds (under 10) for extended periods of time. This can put a lot of strain on the motors and can overheat them. If you need to achieve a slower rate of flow you might want to look into the Mini Vigor pump.

Closure Trials (the cork taint debate) (

What's the single most controversial issue in the wine world today? Without doubt I'd argue that it's the good old cork taint debate. Plenty has been written on this subject, but what have been lacking are decent independent data. In fact the whole area has been so sullied by commercial interests (cork manufacturer Amorim has been busy offering hospitality to journalists, and I'd be surprised if synthetic cork manufacturers haven't been doing the same), that it is only solid results that will settle this issue once and for all. Yet more anecdotal observations and strongly held opinions won't really do. This is why I was delighted to receive through the post the first results of the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) Wine Bottle Closure Trial. Published in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, this highly significant study looks like it will help answer the question of what really is the best way of sealing wine bottles. To those unfamiliar with the scientific literature, this 41 page paper would be pretty heavy going, so in this feature I'll attempt to unpack what the data really show, and assess their real significance.

More on Cork Taint (

Taint is the most misunderstood and misreported issue in the wine world. Often based on anecdotes, the incidence of wine taint has been blamed almost exclusively on cork closures. But the hard evidence firmly demonstrates that cork taint is no longer a widespread problem.

First, let’s define taint. The taint typically associated with wine corks is TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole). It is a harmless but ubiquitous environmental compound that gives wine a musty flavor at very low concentrations (parts per trillion).

While TCA does come from cork, it also comes from sources such as contaminated winery or bottling equipment, airborne molds or chlorine-based compounds in wineries and cellars. A 2010 study scheduled for publication in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, for example, looks at how wine barrels may introduce TCA.

Wine can be spoiled for many reasons unrelated to cork or TCA. Oxidation, a common problem with plastic stoppers, can make wine smell like candy banana flavoring. Numerous bacteria and molds can also spoil wine by making it taste like everything from rancid butter to sauerkraut.

But when wine fails to meet expectations, the cork gets blamed. Indeed, a recent study of 3,000 wine drinkers found that one in 20 complained that their wine was “corked” when in fact it had come from a bottle with a screw-cap.

The habit of blaming cork may explain why estimates of TCA contamination based on anecdotal evidence range from 2 percent to 10 percent and above. But a large and growing amount of hard evidence concludes that the incidence of TCA has dropped precipitously in recent years and is commonly measured at less than 1 percent of wines sealed with real cork.

The decrease in the incidence of TCA is largely due to improvements implemented by the cork industry. The industry has two complementary approaches used simultaneously for dealing with TCA. The first is to use quality control measures to prevent contaminated cork from being processed into closures. The second, which is the “curative approach,” is to assume that TCA will be present and then to remove it. The results of the above studies indicate that these efforts have been a resounding success.

Cork Taint Article (

Cork Taint Article (

Cork Taint Article (

Cork Taint Article (

The British Columbia Amateur Winemakers Association (

This is a good source for all sorts of wine making information 

UC Davis Faculty (

The Hilgard Project (

The Hilgard Project in the Department of Viticulture and Enology University of California, Davis “A measurement and control system that follows the development of our grapes to the making of our wines”

Wine Making (


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Wine making)
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Wine grapes.

Winemaking, or vinification, is the production of wine, starting with selection of the grapes or other produce and ending with bottling the finished wine. Although most wine is made from grapes, it may also be made from other fruit or non-toxic plant material. Mead is a wine that is made with honey being the primary ingredient after water.

Winemaking can be divided into two general categories: still wine production (without carbonation) and sparkling wine production (with carbonation).

The science of wine and winemaking is known as oenology (in American English, oenology) and the oldest known winemaking operation, estimated to be 8,000 years old, was discovered in Georgia.[1]




Anatomy of a grape, showing the components extracted from each pressing.

After the harvest, the grapes are taken into a winery and prepared for primary ferment. At this stage red wine making diverges from white wine making. Red wine is made from the must (pulp) of red or black grapes that undergo fermentation together with the grape skins. White wine is made by fermenting juice which is made by pressing crushed grapes to extract a juice; the skins are removed and play no further role. Occasionally white wine is made from red grapes, this is done by extracting their juice with minimal contact with the grapes' skins. Rosé wines are either made from red grapes where the juice is allowed to stay in contact with the dark skins long enough to pick up a pinkish color (blanc de noir) or by blending red wine and white wine. White and rosé wines extract little of the tannins contained in the skins.

To start primary fermentation yeast is added to the must for red wine or juice for white wine. During this fermentation, which often takes between one and two weeks, the yeast converts most of the sugars in the grape juice into ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is lost to the atmosphere. After the primary fermentation of red grapes the free run wine is pumped off into tanks and the skins are pressed to extract the remaining juice and wine, the press wine blended with the free run wine at the wine maker's discretion. The wine is kept warm and the remaining sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The next process in the making of red wine is secondary fermentation. This is a bacterial fermentation which converts malic acid to lactic acid. This process decreases the acid in the wine and softens the taste of the wine. Red wine is sometimes transferred to oak barrels to mature for a period of weeks or months, this practice imparts oak aromas to the wine. The wine must be settled or clarified and adjustments made prior to filtration and bottling.

The time from harvest to drinking can vary from a few months for Beaujolais nouveau wines to over twenty years for top wines. However, only about 10% of all red and 5% of white wine will taste better after five years than it will after just one year.[2] Depending on the quality of grape and the target wine style, some of these steps may be combined or omitted to achieve the particular goals of the winemaker. Many wines of comparable quality are produced using similar but distinctly different approaches to their production; quality is dictated by the attributes of the starting material and not necessarily the steps taken during vinification.

Variations on the above procedure exist. With sparkling wines such as Champagne, an additional fermentation takes place inside the bottle, trapping carbon dioxide and creating the characteristic bubbles. Sweet wines are made by ensuring that some residual sugar remains after fermentation is completed. This can be done by harvesting late (late harvest wine), freezing the grapes to concentrate the sugar (ice wine), or adding a substance to kill the remaining yeast before fermentation is completed; for example, high proof brandy is added when making port wine. In other cases the winemaker may choose to hold back some of the sweet grape juice and add it to the wine after the fermentation is done, a technique known as süssreserve.

The process produces wastewater, pomace, and lees that require collection, treatment, and disposal or beneficial use.

The grapes

Harvested Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

The quality of the grapes determines the quality of the wine more than any other factor. Grape quality is affected by variety as well as weather during the growing season, soil minerals and acidity, time of harvest, and pruning method. The combination of these effects is often referred to as the grape's terroir.

Grapes are usually harvested from the vineyard from early September until early November in the northern hemisphere, and mid February until early March in the southern hemisphere. In some cool areas in the southern hemisphere, for example Tasmania, harvesting extends into May.

The most common species of wine grape is Vitis vinifera, which includes nearly all varieties of European origin.

Harvesting and destemming

Harvest is the picking of the grapes and in many ways the first step in wine production. Grapes are either harvested mechanically or by hand. The decision to harvest grapes is typically made by the winemaker and informed by the level of sugar (called °Brix), acid (TA or Titratable Acidity as expressed by tartaric acid equivalents) and pH of the grapes. Other considerations include phenological ripeness, berry flavor, tannin development (seed color and taste). Overall disposition of the grapevine and weather forecasts are taken into account.

The corkscrew-shaped feed auger sits on top of a mechanical crusher-destemmer. Grape clusters are fed into the machine, where they are first crushed, then destemmed. Stems exit at the end, while juice, skins, seeds, and some debris exit the bottom.

Mechanical harvesters are large tractors that straddle grapevine trellises and, using firm plastic or rubber rods, strike the fruiting zone of the grapevine to dislodge the grapes from the rachis. Mechanical harvesters have the advantage of being able to cover a large area of vineyard land in a relatively short period of time, and with a minimum investment of manpower per harvested ton. A disadvantage of mechanical harvesting is the indiscriminate inclusion of foreign non-grape material in the product, especially leaf stems and leaves, but also, depending on the trellis system and grapevine canopy management, may include moldy grapes,canes, metal debris, rocks and even small animals and bird nests. Some winemakers remove leaves and loose debris from the grapevine before mechanical harvesting to avoid such material being included in the harvested fruit. In the United States mechanical harvesting is seldom used for premium winemaking because of the indiscriminate picking and increased oxidation of the grape juice. In other countries (such as Australia and New Zealand), mechanical harvesting of premium winegrapes is more common because of general labor shortages.

Central component of a mechanical destemming. Paddles above the small circular slots rotate to remove the larger chunks of stems. Grapes are pulled off the stems and fall through the holes. Some small amount of stem particles are usually desired to be kept with the grapes for tannin structure.

Manual harvesting is the hand-picking of grape clusters from the grapevines. In the United States, grapes are traditionally picked into 30 pound boxes, and in many cases these boxes are consolidated into ½ ton bins or two-ton bins for transport to the winery. Manual harvesting has the advantage of using knowledgeable labor to not only pick the ripe clusters but also to leave behind the clusters that are not ripe or contain bunch rot or other defects. This can be an effective first line of defense to prevent inferior quality fruit from contaminating a lot or tank of wine.

Destemming is the process of separating stems from the grapes. Depending on the winemaking procedure, this process may be undertaken before crushing with the purpose of lowering the development of tannins and vegetal flavors in the resulting wine. Single berry harvesting, like what is done with some German Trockenbeerenauslese, avoids this step altogether with the grapes being individually selected.

Crushing and primary fermentation

Crushing is the process when gently squeezing the berries and breaking the skins to start to liberate the contents of the berries. Destemming is the process of removing the grapes from the rachis (the stem which holds the grapes). In traditional and smaller-scale wine making, the harvested grapes are sometimes crushed by trampling them barefoot or by the use of inexpensive small scale crushers. These can also destem at the same time. However, in larger wineries, a mechanical crusher/destemmer is used. The decision about destemming is different for red and white wine making. Generally when making white wine the fruit is only crushed, the stems are then placed in the press with the berries. The presence of stems in the mix facilitates pressing by allowing juice to flow past flattened skins. These accumulate at the edge of the press. For red winemaking, stems of the grapes are usually removed before fermentation since the stems have a relatively high tannin content; in addition to tannin they can also give the wine a vegetal aroma (due to extraction of 2-methoxy-3-isopropylpyrazine which has an aroma reminiscent of green bell peppers.) On occasion, the winemaker may decide to leave them in if the grapes themselves contain less tannin than desired. This is more acceptable if the stems have 'ripened' and started to turn brown. If increased skin extraction is desired, a winemaker might choose to crush the grapes after destemming. Removal of stems first means no stem tannin can be extracted. In these cases the grapes pass between two rollers which squeeze the grapes enough to separate the skin and pulp, but not so much as to cause excessive shearing or tearing of the skin tissues. In some cases, notably with "delicate" red varietals such as Pinot noir or Syrah, all or part of the grapes might be left uncrushed (called "whole berry") to encourage the retention of fruity aromas through partial carbonic maceration.

Crushed grapes leaving the crusher.

Most red wines derive their color from grape skins (the exception being varieties or hybrids of non-vinifera vines which contain juice pigmented with the dark Malvidin 3,5-diglucoside anthocyanin) and therefore contact between the juice and skins is essential for color extraction. Red wines are produced by destemming and crushing the grapes into a tank and leaving the skins in contact with the juice throughout the fermentation (maceration). It is possible to produce white (colorless) wines from red grapes by the fastidious pressing of uncrushed fruit. This minimizes contact between grape juice and skins (as in the making of Blanc de noirs sparkling wine, which is derived from Pinot noir, a red vinifera grape.)

Most white wines are processed without destemming or crushing and are transferred from picking bins directly to the press. This is to avoid any extraction of tannin from either the skins or grapeseeds, as well as maintaining proper juice flow through a matrix of grape clusters rather than loose berries. In some circumstances winemakers choose to crush white grapes for a short period of skin contact, usually for three to 24 hours. This serves to extract flavor and tannin from the skins (the tannin being extracted to encourage protein precipitation without excessive Bentonite addition) as well as Potassium ions, which participate in bitartrate precipitation (cream of tartar). It also results in an increase in the pH of the juice which may be desirable for overly acidic grapes. This was a practice more common in the 1970s than today, though still practiced by some Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay producers in California.

In the case of rosé wines, the fruit is crushed and the dark skins are left in contact with the juice just long enough to extract the color that the winemaker desires. The must is then pressed, and fermentation continues as if the wine maker was making a white wine.

Yeast is normally already present on the grapes, often visible as a powdery appearance of the grapes. The fermentation can be done with this natural yeast, but since this can give unpredictable results depending on the exact types of yeast that are present, cultured yeast is often added to the must. One of the main problems with the use of wild ferments is the failure for the fermentation to go to completion, that is some sugar remains unfermented. This can make the wine sweet when a dry wine is desired.Frequently wild ferments lead to the production of unpleasant acetic acid (vinegar) production as a by product.

A cap of grape skins forms on the surface of fermenting red wine.

During the primary fermentation, the yeast cells feed on the sugars in the must and multiply, producing carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. The temperature during the fermentation affects both the taste of the end product, as well as the speed of the fermentation. For red wines, the temperature is typically 22 to 25 °C, and for white wines 15 to 18 °C. For every gram of sugar that is converted, about half a gram of alcohol is produced, so to achieve a 12% alcohol concentration, the must should contain about 24% sugars. The sugar percentage of the must is calculated from the measured density, the must weight, with the help of a specialized type of hydrometer called a saccharometer. If the sugar content of the grapes is too low to obtain the desired alcohol percentage, sugar can be added (chaptalization). In commercial winemaking, chaptalization is subject to local regulations.

During or after the alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation can also take place, during which specific strains of bacteria convert malic acid into the milder lactic acid. This fermentation is often initiated by inoculation with desired bacteria.


Ancient winepress in Migdal HaEmek, with the pressing area in the center and the collection vat off to the bottom left.

Pressing is the act of applying pressure to grapes or pomace in order to separate juice or wine from grapes and grape skins. Pressing is not always a necessary act in winemaking; if grapes are crushed there is a considerable amount of juice immediately liberated (called free-run juice) that can be used for vinification. Typically this free-run juice is of a higher quality than the press juice. However, most wineries do use presses in order to increase their production (gallons) per ton, as pressed juice can represent between 15%-30% of the total juice volume from the grape.

Presses act by positioning the grape skins or whole grape clusters between a rigid surface and a moveable surface and slowly decrease the volume between the two surfaces. Modern presses dictate the duration and pressure at each press cycle, usually ramping from 0 Bar to 2.0 Bar. Sometimes winemakers choose pressures which separate the streams of pressed juice, called making "press cuts." As the pressure increases the amount of tannin extracted from the skins into the juice increases, often rendering the pressed juice excessively tannic or harsh. Because of the location of grape juice constituents in the berry (water and acid are found primarily in the mesocarp or pulp, whereas tannins are found primarily in the pericarp, or skin, and seeds), pressed juice or wine tends to be lower in acidity with a higher pH than the free-run juice.

Before the advent of modern winemaking, most presses were basket presses made of wood and operated manually. Basket presses are composed of a cylinder of wooden slats on top of a fixed plate, with a moveable plate that can be forced downward (usually by a central ratcheting threaded screw.) The press operator would load the grapes or pomace into the wooden cylinder, put the top plate in place and lower it until juice flowed from the wooden slats. As the juice flow decreased, the plate was ratcheted down again. This process continued until the press operator determined that the quality of the pressed juice or wine was below standard, or all liquids had been pressed. Since the early 1990s, modern mechanical basket presses have been revived through higher-end producers seeking to replicate the gentle pressing of the historical basket presses. Because basket presses have a relatively compact design, the press cake offers a relatively longer pathway for the juice to travel before leaving the press. It is believed by advocates of basket presses that this relatively long pathway through the grape or pomace cake serves as a filter to solids that would otherwise affect the quality of the press juice.

Antique Wooden Wine Press in front of World Heritage Vineyards

With red wines, the must is pressed after primary fermentation, which separates the skins and other solid matter from the liquid. With white wine, the liquid is separated from the must before fermentation . With rose, the skins may be kept in contact for a shorter period to give color to the wine, in that case the must may be pressed as well. After a period in which the wine stands or ages, the wine is separated from the dead yeast and any solids that remained (called lees), and transferred to a new container where any additional fermentation may take place.


Pigeage is a French winemaking term for the traditional stomping of grapes in open fermentation tanks. To make certain types of wine, grapes are put through a crusher and then poured into open fermentation tanks. Once fermentation begins, the grape skins are pushed to the surface by carbon dioxide gases released in the fermentation process. This layer of skins and other solids is known as the cap. As the skins are the source of the tannins, the cap needs to be mixed through the liquid each day, or "punched," which traditionally is done by stomping through the vat.

Cold and heat stabilization

Cold stabilization is a process used in winemaking to reduce tartrate crystals (generally potassium bitartrate) in wine. These tartrate crystals look like grains of clear sand, and are also known as "wine crystals" or "wine diamonds". They are formed by the union of tartaric acid and potassium, and may appear to be sediment in the wine, though they are not. During the cold stabilizing process after fermentation, the temperature of the wine is dropped to close to freezing for 1–2 weeks. This will cause the crystals to separate from the wine and stick to the sides of the holding vessel. When the wine is drained from the vessels, the tartrates are left behind. They may also form in wine bottles that have been stored under very cold conditions.

During "heat stabilization", unstable proteins are removed by adsorption onto bentonite, preventing them from precipitating in the bottled wine.

Secondary fermentation and bulk aging

Stainless steel fermentation vessels and new oak barrels at the Three Choirs Vineyard, Gloucestershire, England

During the secondary fermentation and aging process, which takes three to six months, the fermentation continues very slowly. The wine is kept under an airlock to protect the wine from oxidation. Proteins from the grape are broken down and the remaining yeast cells and other fine particles from the grapes are allowed to settle. Potassium bitartrate will also precipitate, a process which can be enhanced by cold stabilization to prevent the appearance of (harmless) tartrate crystals after bottling. The result of these processes is that the originally cloudy wine becomes clear. The wine can be racked during this process to remove the lees.

The secondary fermentation usually takes place in either large stainless steel vessels with a volume of several cubic meters, or oak barrels, depending on the goals of the winemakers. Unoaked wine is fermented in a barrel made of stainless steel or other material having no influence in the final taste of the wine. Depending on the desired taste, it could be fermented mainly in stainless steel to be briefly put in oak, or have the complete fermentation done in stainless steel. Oak could be added as chips used with a non-wooden barrel instead of a fully wooden barrel. This process is mainly used in cheaper wine.

Amateur winemakers often use glass carboys in the production of their wine; these vessels (sometimes called demijohns) have a capacity of 4.5 to 54 liters (1.2–14.3 US gallons). The kind of vessel used depends on the amount of wine that is being made, the grapes being used, and the intentions of the winemaker.

Malolactic fermentation

Malolactic fermentation occurs when lactic acid bacteria metabolize malic acid and produce lactic acid and carbon dioxide. This is carried out either as an intentional procedure in which specially cultivated strains of such bacteria are introduced into the maturing wine, or it can happen by chance if uncultivated lactic acid bacteria are present.

Malolactic fermentation can improve the taste of wine that has high levels of malic acid, because malic acid in higher concentration generally causes an often unpleasant harsh and bitter taste sensation, whereas lactic acid is perceived as more gentle and less sour.

The process is used in most red wines and is discretionary for white wines.

Laboratory tests

Whether the wine is aging in tanks or barrels, tests are run periodically in a laboratory to check the status of the wine. Common tests include °Brix, pH, titratable acidity, residual sugar, free or available sulfur, total sulfur, volatile acidity and percent alcohol. Additional tests include those for the crystallization of cream of tartar (potassium hydrogen tartrate) and the precipitation of heat unstable protein; this last test is limited to white wines. These tests are often performed throughout the making of the wine as well as prior to bottling. In response to the results of these tests, a winemaker can then decide on appropriate remedial action, for example the addition of more sulfur dioxide. Sensory tests will also be performed and again in response to these a wine maker may take remedial action such as the addition of a protein to soften the taste of the wine.

°Brix is one measure of the soluble solids in the grape juice and represents not only the sugars but also includes many other soluble substances such as salts, acids and tannins, sometimes called Total Soluble Solids (TSS). However, sugar is by far the compound in greatest quantity and so for all practical purposes these units are a measure of sugar level. The level of sugar in the grapes is important not only because it will determine the final alcohol content of the wine, but also because it is an indirect index of grape maturity. Brix (Bx for short) is measured in grams per hundred grams of solution, so 20 Bx means that 100 grams of juice contains 20gm of dissolved compounds. There are other common measures of sugar content of grapes, Specific gravity, Oechsle (Germany) and Beaume (France). The French Baumé (Be° or Bé° for short) has the benefit that one Be° gives approximately one percent alcohol. Also one Be° is equal to 1.8 Brix, that is 1.8 grams of sugar per one hundred grams. This helps with deciding how much sugar to add if the juice is low in sugar: to achieve one percent alcohol add 1.8 grams per 100 ml or 18 grams per liter. This process is called chaptalization and is illegal in some countries (but perfectly acceptable for the home winemaker.) Generally, for the making of dry table wines a Bx of between 20 and 25 is desirable (equivalent to Be° of 11 to 14.)

A Brix test can be run either in the lab or in the field for a quick reference number to see what the sugar content is. Brix is usually measured with a refractometer while the other methods use a hydrometer. Generally, hydrometers are a cheaper alternative. For more accurate use of sugar measurement it should be remembered that all measurements are affected by the temperature at which the reading is made. Suppliers of equipment generally will supply correction charts.

Volatile acidity test verifies if there is any steam distillable acids in the wine. Mainly present is acetic acid but lactic, butyric, propionic and formic acids can also be found. Usually the test checks for these acids in a cash still, but there are new methods available such as HPLC, gas chromatography and enzymatic methods. The amount of volatile acidity found in sound grapes is negligible, since it is a by-product of microbial metabolism. It's important to remember that acetic acid bacteria require oxygen to grow. Eliminating any air in wine containers as well as a sulfur dioxide addition will limit their growth. Rejecting moldy grapes will also prevent possible problems associated with acetic acid bacteria. Use of sulfur dioxide and inoculation with a low-V.A. producing strain of Saccharomyces may deter acetic acid producing yeast. A relatively new method for removal of volatile acidity from a wine is reverse osmosis. Blending may also help—a wine with high V.A. can be filtered (to remove the microbe responsible) and blended with a low V.A. wine, so that the acetic acid level is below the sensory threshold.

Blending and fining

Different batches of wine can be mixed before bottling in order to achieve the desired taste. The winemaker can correct perceived inadequacies by mixing wines from different grapes and batches that were produced under different conditions. These adjustments can be as simple as adjusting acid or tannin levels, to as complex as blending different varieties or vintages to achieve a consistent taste.

Fining agents are used during winemaking to remove tannins, reduce astringency and remove microscopic particles that could cloud the wines. The winemakers decide on which fining agents are used and these may vary from product to product and even batch to batch (usually depending on the grapes of that particular year).[3]

Gelatin has been used in winemaking for centuries and is recognized as a traditional method for wine fining, or clarifying. It is also the most commonly used agent to reduce the tannin content. Generally no gelatin remains in the wine because it reacts with the wine components, as it clarifies, and forms a sediment which is removed by filtration prior to bottling.

Besides gelatin, other fining agents for wine are often derived from animal and fish products, such as micronized potassium casseinate (casein is milk protein), egg whites, egg albumin, bone char, bull's blood, isinglass (Sturgeon bladder), PVPP (a synthetic compound), lysozyme, and skim milk powder.[3]

Some aromatized wines contain honey or egg-yolk extract.[3]

Non-animal-based filtering agents are also often used, such as bentonite (a volcanic clay-based filter), diatomaceous earth, cellulose pads, paper filters and membrane filters (thin films of plastic polymer material having uniformly sized holes).


The most common preservative used in winemaking is sulfur dioxide, achieved by adding sodium or potassium metabisulphite. Another useful preservative is potassium sorbate.

Sulfur dioxide has two primary actions, firstly it is an anti microbial agent and secondly an anti oxidant. In the making of white wine it can be added prior to fermentation and immediately after alcoholic fermentation is complete. If added after alcoholic ferment it will have the effect of preventing or stopping malolactic fermentation, bacterial spoilage and help protect against the damaging effects of oxygen. Additions of up to 100 mg per liter (of sulfur dioxide) can be added, but the available or free sulfur dioxide should be measured by the aspiration method and adjusted to 30 mg per liter. Available sulfur dioxide should be maintained at this level until bottling. For rose wines smaller additions should be made and the available level should be no more than 30 mg per liter.

In the making of red wine sulfur dioxide may be used at high levels (100 mg per liter) prior to ferment to assist stabilize color otherwise it is used at the end of malolactic ferment and performs the same functions as in white wine. However, small additions (say 20 mg per liter) should be used to avoid bleaching red pigments and the maintenance level should be about 20 mg per liter. Furthermore, small additions (say 20 mg per liter) may be made to red wine after alcoholic ferment and before malolactic ferment to overcome minor oxidation and prevent the growth of acetic acid bacteria.

Without the use of sulfur dioxide, wines can readily suffer bacterial spoilage no matter how hygienic the winemaking practice.

Potassium sorbate is effective for the control of fungal growth, including yeast, especially for sweet wines in bottle. However, one potential hazard is the metabolism of sorbate to geraniol a potent and very unpleasant by-product. To avoid this, either the wine must be sterile bottled or contain enough sulfur dioxide to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Sterile bottling includes the use of filtration.


Filtration in winemaking is used to accomplish two objectives, clarification and microbial stabilization. In clarification, large particles that affect the visual appearance of the wine are removed. In microbial stabilization, organisms that affect the stability of the wine are removed therefore reducing the likelihood of re-fermentation or spoilage.

The process of clarification is concerned with the removal of particles; those larger than 5–10 micrometers for coarse polishing, particles larger than 1–4 micrometers for clarifying or polishing. Microbial stabilization requires a filtration of at least 0.65 micrometers. However, filtration at this level may lighten a wines color and body. Microbial stabilization does not imply sterility. It simply means that a significant amount of yeast and bacteria have been removed.


A final dose of sulfite is added to help preserve the wine and prevent unwanted fermentation in the bottle. The wine bottles then are traditionally sealed with a cork, although alternative wine closures such as synthetic corks and screwcaps, which are less subject to cork taint, are becoming increasingly popular.[4] The final step is adding a capsule [5] to the top of the bottle which is then heated [6] for a tight seal.


Traditionally known as a vintner, a winemaker is a person engaged in making wine. They are generally employed by wineries or wine companies.

See also

A wine labelling machine in France.


  1. ^ Belluck, Pam (08 March 2011). "Keys, David (28 December 2003)". The Independent (London).
  2. ^ Jancis Robinson (2003). Jancis Robinson's WINE COURSE, A guide to the world of wine. BBC worldwide Ltd.. pp. 39.
  3. ^ a b c

Wine Etymology (

The English word "wine" comes from the Proto-Germanic "*winam," an early borrowing from the Latin vinum, "wine" or "(grape) vine," itself derived from the Proto-Indo-European stem *win-o- (cf. Hittite: wiyana, Lycian: Oino, Ancient Greek οá¿–νος - oînos, Aeolic Greek ϝοίνος - woinos).[7][8]

The earliest attested terms referring to wine are the Mycenaean Greek me-tu-wo ne-wo meaning "the month of new wine" or "festival of the new wine" and wo-no-wa-ti-si meaning "wine garden", written in Linear B inscriptions.[9][10][11][12]

Although no clear evidence has been found of any linguistic connection, some scholars have noted the similarities between the words for wine in the Kartvelian (e.g. Georgian ღვინო ɣvino), Indo-European languages (e.g. Russian vino), and Semitic (*wayn), hinting to the possibility that this word diffused into all these language families from a common origin.[13] Some Georgian scholars have speculated that Georgian was the origin of this word and that it entered into the Indo-European languages via Semitic.[14]

Wine History (

Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest known production of wine, made by fermenting grapes, took place as early as 8,000 years ago in Georgia[5] and 6,100 years ago in Armenia.[6][15][16] These locations are all within the natural area of the European grapevine Vitis vinifera.

Pressing wine after the harvest; Tacuinum Sanitatis, 14th century

Through an extensive gene-mapping project in 2006, Dr. McGovern and his colleagues analyzed the heritage of more than 110 modern grape cultivars, and narrowed their origin to a region in Georgia, where also wine residues were discovered on the inner surfaces of 8,000-year-old ceramic storage jars in Shulavari, Georgia.[17] Other notable areas of wine production have been discovered in Greece and date back to 4500 BC.[16][18][19][20] The same sites also contain the world's earliest evidence of crushed grapes.[18] On January 11, 2011 in one of Armenia's Vayots Dzor province cave was found a wine making press dating to approximately 6,000 years ago.[16][20][21] Literary references to wine are abundant in Homer (9th century BC, but possibly composed even earlier), Alkman (7th century BC), and others. In Ancient Egypt, six of 36 wine amphoras were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun bearing the name "Kha'y", a royal chief vintner. Five of these amphoras were designated as from the King's personal estate with the sixth listed as from the estate of the royal house of Aten.[22] Traces of wine have also been found in central Asian Xinjiang, dating from the second and first millennia BC.[23]

Viticulture in India has a long history dating back to the time of the Indus Valley civilization when grapevines were believed to have been introduced from Persia sometime in the 5000 BC.[citation needed] The first known mentioning of grape-based wines was in the late 4th century BC writings of Chanakya who was the chief minister of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. In his writings, Chanakya condemns the use of alcohol while chronicling the emperor and his court's frequent indulgence of a style of grape wine known as Madhu.[24]

A 2003 report by archaeologists indicates a possibility that grapes were mixed with rice to produce mixed fermented beverages in China in the early years of the seventh millennium BC. Pottery jars from the Neolithic site of Jiahu, Henan contained traces of tartaric acid and other organic compounds commonly found in wine. However, other fruits indigenous to the region, such as hawthorn, cannot be ruled out.[25][26] If these beverages, which seem to be the precursors of rice wine, included grapes rather than other fruits, these grapes were of any of the several dozen indigenous wild species of grape in China, rather than from Vitis vinifera, which were introduced into China some 6000 years later.[25]

One of the lasting legacies of the ancient Roman Empire was the viticulture foundation the Romans laid in the lands that today are world renowned wine regions. Areas with Roman garrison towns, like Bordeaux, Trier, and Colchester, the Romans planted vineyards to supply local needs and limit the cost of long distance trading.[27] In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Church staunchly supported wine, since they required it for the Mass. Monks in France made wine for years, aging it in caves.[28] An old English recipe that survived in various forms until the 19th century calls for refining white wine from bastard—bad or tainted bastardo wine.[29]

List of Grape Varieties (

Encyclopidia on Wine, Everything from production to volume and export per country, more information than you needed to know about wine. (

Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of unmodified grape juice.[1] The natural chemical balance of grapes is such that they ferment completely without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes or other nutrients.[2] Although other fruits like apples and berries can also be fermented, the resultant "wines" are normally named after the fruit (for example, apple wine or elderberry wine) and are generically known as fruit or country wine. Others, such as barley wine and rice wine (e.g. sake) are made from starch-based materials and resemble beer more than wine, while ginger wine is fortified with brandy. In these cases, the use of the term "wine" is a reference to the higher alcohol content, rather than production process.[3] The commercial use of the English word "wine" (and its equivalent in other languages) is protected by law in many jurisdictions

11 Health Benefits of Grapes (

The texture, flavor, and aroma of grapes is what will pull you towards it many health benefits. It’s been a part of this world for over 8,000 years, when the first grape vines were seen in the Middle East. There are all kinds of grapes you could think of; red, green, purple, and seedless grapes. (1)

If not consumed as fresh fruits, or as a whole, they’re transformed into grape jellies, jams, wines, and raisins. Such a versatile fruit must have surprising health benefits to boast of, right? Over the past years, science has proven that consumption of grapes can do you good, beyond what you could have possibly imagined. It helps with the prevention of heart diseases, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and gastrointestinal diseases.

1. The Resveratrol Compound in Grapes Enhance the Body’s Immune System

Grapes contain natural antioxidants to a high degree. These antioxidants are beneficial for supporting and protecting your body against unwanted immune damage. Such immune damage makes you a liability for various diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and liver damage.

According to the study, the resveratrol paired with vitamin D present in grapes have a telling impact on the body’s immune function. It reduces inflammation, fights bacteria, and defends against harmful cancer cells and heart disease. (2)

The most fundamental role of an immune system is to provide support for metabolic activities while protecting against damaged cells from reproducing quickly.

The vitamin D and resveratrol antioxidant in grapes suggest better defense against the spread of chronic diseases and impaired cells. It even helps heal wounds and infections faster.

Key Takeaway: Grapes contain a good amount of resveratrol antioxidants that work well with vitamin D to provide protection against many diseases. The daily consumption of grapes will help you fight infections, recover from injuries and diseases faster, and overall transform your health back to normal. They dramatically strengthen the immune system.

2. The Daily Consumption of Grapes Inhibit the Risk of Developing Heart Diseases

Heart diseases such as atherosclerosis are characterized by the hardening and thinning of the artery muscles.

Factors such as high cholesterol levels, heart attack, stroke, smoking, and high blood pressure cause the narrowing of the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood from the heart to other parts of the body.

It can cause plaque buildup in the arteries, and if left untreated for a long time, it could lead to permanent blockages.

A simple study on healthy individuals claimed that people over the age of 50 were most likely to be diagnosed with this heart disease. That said, the in the initial stages, there are hardly any symptoms to determine the cause and treatment. (3)

Which is why you need something strong and healthy to combat this disease before it happens to you. The polyphenols present in grapes are powerful antioxidants that inhibit oxidation, inflammation, and platelet aggregation in the body. (4)

They’re good nutrients for proper activation of proteins in the body that restrict cell damage.

Key Takeaway: Grapes are loaded with nutritive polyphenols that can improve your cardiovascular health. Studies show that grape eaters have a lower risk of developing atherosclerosis, which is a harmful cardiovascular disease.

3. Eating Grapes Regularly Prevents Age-Associated Memory Loss

Cognitive fitness is as important as physical fitness, especially for adults. While you go outside for a walk or a run everyday to prevent age-related physical breakdowns, a healthy diet is one of the best ways to remain focused as you get older.

Fruits high in unsaturated fats, low in cholesterol, and contain powerful antioxidants such as resveratrol have a potential of preventing age-related memory loss.

Resveratrol is good for the heart, as I’ve already discussed above, but a lesser known fact is that it’s beneficial for the hippocampus of the brain. The hippocampus is responsible for memory, mood, and learning abilities of the brain. And while age-related memory loss is a part of many aging disorders for older adults, anything that has a positive effect on cognitive ability is a good thing.

This antioxidant significantly improves your chances of resisting Alzheimer’s disease as you get older. It improves blood flow and prevents excessive inflammation in the memory centre of the brain (that is the hippocampus). (5)

Key Takeaway: A study conducted on aged rats showed that resveratrol-rich diets showed both memory improvement and spatial learning enhancement within 25 months of treatment. Hence, it can improve overall memory loss disabilities for people embracing the old age streak.

4. Grapes Fruit Juice May Protect You From Type 2 Diabetes

If you didn’t already know, not all fruit juices are good for diabetic patients. The consumption of only a few fruit juices lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while some indicate a higher risk.

To determine which fruits’ juice is beneficial for people struggling with type 2 diabetes, BMJ conducted a simple study. The main outcome was determined by studying women with type 2 diabetes. It varied from whole fruit consumption of bananas, grapes, raisins, strawberries, apples, pears, and many other fruits.

As a result, the studies suggested that great consumption of grapes, blueberries, and apples are linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. (6)

Grapes contain anthocyanins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and resveratrol that are good compounds for preventing type 2 diabetes in healthy individuals. They regulate proper blood sugar balance, they lower the glucose index value in the body, and stimulate optimal cholesterol levels. All of which are ideal for preventing chronic diabetic diseases. (7)

Key Takeaway: The overproduction of glucose leads to type 2 diabetes. This is caused by lack of exercise, unhealthy food habits, and high cholesterol levels in the body. Grapes help correct such a characteristic. Consuming greater amounts of grapes fruit juice is associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes in patients.

5. The Flavonoids in Grapes Reduce Cell Damage Caused by Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet radiation is a significant agent of skin cancer and other symptoms of skin cell damage. Although UV rays are supposedly good for vitamin D and endorphins proliferation in the skin cells, they do carry dangerous risks.

The type of flavonoids present in grapes have showed positive effects on UV-damaged skin cells. Grapes also contain phenolic acids such as gallic acid which increases its protective property to prevent skin cancer and other skin disorders. (8)

UV radiation leads to DNA damage, malignancy, and pigmentary changes. That said, genetic factors also contribute to the severity of skin diseases including skin cancer. (9)

As you already know, skin is the most primary and the largest organ of your body. It possesses two significant layers: epidermis and dermis. Any damage to even one of these layers can cause serious environmentally-induced skin disorders.

Key Takeaway: Grape eaters have a much lower risk of suffering from skin damage caused by harmful UV rays. It appears that the flavonoids present in grapes have a positive effect on the prevention and treatment of skin cancer and other harmful skin diseases.

6. Grapes are the Biggest Source of Vitamin K for Optimal Bone Health

Grapes can combat severe vitamin K deficiency, which is also important for boosting the function of bones in the body. If you often suffer from bone fractures, joint pains, and weakness, you have low bone mineral density.

You need dietary vitamin K in your daily diet to lower age-related and induced bone damage. Diseases such as osteoporosis arise from vitamin K and calcium deficiency. So along with your routine nutritive foods, grapes are extremely powerful for good bone health.

A study published on the positive effects of vitamin K on the human body showed that women who consumed 110mg were 30% less likely to suffer from bone fracture or hip break than those who didn’t consume any or very little vitamin K. (10)

The amount of vitamin K you consume affects your body’s ability to strengthen and boost bone health and performance.

Key Takeaway: Vitamin K intake helps prevent bone damage dramatically. It is incredibly nutritious for protecting the bones from fracture, breaks, and other bone conditions like osteoporosis. Eating grapes regularly has a significant impact on improving bone mineral density.

7. Grapes Have Metabolic Syndrome-Fighting Properties

Metabolic syndrome interferes with the body’s normal functioning, causing cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, diabetes, and even a sudden heart attack.

The symptoms of metabolic syndrome include unexplained obesity, a high cholesterol level, high glucose level, high blood pressure, and fatigue. Factors such as unhealthy lifestyle choice greatly affect the proliferation of this syndrome. (11)

To decrease the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, grape intake in very necessary. It protects against the damages of metabolic syndrome on different organs of the body.

The polyphenols have a positive effect on the liver, kidneys, heart, and fat tissues of the body. All of these parts are greatly affected by the metabolic syndrome.

A study conducted on obesity-prone rats explained that a higher intake of grapes on a day-to-day basis showed critical improvement in preventing metabolic syndrome and other organ dysfunction. (12)

In a span of 90 days, the study concluded that a grape-rich diet on obesity-prone rats showed drastic improvement in antioxidant defense and anti-inflammatory response. Especially for preventing liver damage and heart failure, this is principally important.

Key Takeaway: High doses of grapes appear to alleviate metabolic syndrome symptoms in people with a higher risk of developing immune disorders. In a study conducted on rats over a span of 90 days, increase in grape intake proved beneficial for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress that gave birth to metabolic syndrome.

8. Various Polyphenols in Grapes Reduce Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress are caused by many factors such as inflammation, environmentally-induced stress, genetic factors, and age-related disorders.

For proper cellular regulation and anti-inflammatory effects, reduced levels of oxidative stress is essential. In addition to medical treatment, a natural medicine such as healthy fruits work well to prevent the ever-increasing symptoms of oxidative stress in the body.

Other than lifestyle and genetic factors, a major cause of oxidative stress is advanced age. It can cause a wide number of chronic diseases including diabetes, cognitive disabilities, heart diseases, and metabolic syndrome. (13)

Grapes are rich in antioxidants including polyphenols, carotenoids, and flavonoids essential for anti-inflammatory effect. It protects the body from highly reactive oxygen species. These species damage new cells and increase the number of old and damaged cells in the body. This could also lead to apoptotic cell death and mitochondrial damage. (14)

You want to protect yourself from pathogens and harmful toxic chemicals, both of us have detrimental effects.

Key Takeaway: Factors that significantly increase oxidative stress in the body can be treated and controlled with the help of grapes. They contain powerful antioxidants that are essential for the prevention of chronic diseases characterized by oxidative stress. It supports the body’s immune system and may reduce the risk of developing age-related disorders.

9. Grapes Contain Dietary Fiber and Other Powerful Compounds to Relieve Constipation

Grapes are one of the most effective fruits to eat to fight constipation. They contain dietary fiber, organic acid, cellulose, and sugar.

On the whole, increasing your dietary fiber intake has many health benefits, including reducing cholesterol levels, preventing hypertension, reflux disease, and lowering blood pressure.

Gastrointestinal disorders often arise from symptoms such as chronic constipation. This can occur due to lack of fiber intake and lack of water intake. Grapes are dense in both nutrients required to treat and eliminate constipation. (15)

That said, grapes are considered a laxative food because of the combination of antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients it contains. Laxatives are natural remedies for people with irregular bowel movements. So proper grape consumption on a daily basis is most beneficial along with regular exercise.

Chronic constipation is a very uncomfortable condition that often leads to bowel obstruction and hard feces. Chronic constipation is linked with other severe diseases including kidney disease and colorectal cancer. (16,17)

Key Takeaway: Grapes contain dietary fiber and powerful nutrients which have positive effects on your digestive system. It also helps relieve constipation, which is the symptom of bowel obstruction and weak metabolic functioning. People who eat a grape-rich diet show improvements in passing stools without any difficulty.

10. Grapes Can Kill Harmful Cancer Cells

Did you ever wonder why people drink red wine in moderation as a natural health remedy? Extracted from grape, it contains a powerful compound called resveratrol which has a positive effect on killing cancer cells.

To block cancer cells from proliferating, the body needs to block protein from feeding the damaged cells. The resveratrol compound is responsible for proper regulation of protein in the cells.

That said, the anti-inflammatory properties of grapes creates a less oxidative environment, making it difficult for the cancer cells to reproduce and damage other healthy cells in the body.

Grapes also contain special phytonutrients such as catechins, stilbenes, and proanthocyanidins which have positive cancer-fighting effects. (18)

Studies have already established that resveratrol reduces inflammation in the body, curing heart diseases, autoimmune disorders, and other chronic diseases caused by oxidative stress. Grapes help fight prostate cancer, bowel cancer, and colon cancer. It also restricts tumor growth in the brain or bone. (19)

Key Takeaway: Grapes contain compounds that help fight cancer more effectively. They are anti-cancer agents that cause cancer cells to rapidly deteriorate rather than spread throughout the body. Combined with therapy, consuming grapes or grape juice on a regular basis has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.

11. The Essential Polyphenols in Grapes Can Improve Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a risk factor that causes cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. According to studies, a change in diet is a significant factor in preventing and treating hypertension in individuals. (20)

The intake of polyphenols shows a modifiable improvement in patients with high blood pressure. It protects the body against cardiovascular diseases, hence reducing our body’s inflammation and tendency to fight against free radical damage.

It regulates proper cerebral blood flow levels and it also targets the brain for improving vascular health and stimulation. (21)

Polyphenols are great contributors to blood pressure stimulation. They control excessive inflammation in the body which helps alleviating high blood pressure symptoms of hypertension. Keeping in mind that a spike in high blood pressure could lead to sudden heart stroke or plaque buildup restricting proper blood flow from the heart to different organs of the body.

There’s a direct association between the biological and chemical properties of polyphenols to regulate anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory functions. It increases and enhances optimal blood coagulation factors.

Key Takeaway: A grape-rich diet can reduce the rate of high blood pressure in adults. It increases the body’s ability to fight against hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases, especially in people who have a high blood pressure problems.

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