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How wine is made

Many people are under the impression that wine is a very complicated drink. In fact it is one of the easiest alcoholic drinks to make as long as you have all the right conditions and ingredients.

Follow the key steps of wine making below:

Step 1: Pick grapes

After analysing the sugar levels and assessing their maturity, the grapes are picked - harvesting takes place at different times due to
the climate.

Harvest in Northern Hemisphere
Begins end of August, but in cool regions such as Germany can be in late November.

Harvest in Southern Hemisphere
South African harvest begins at the end of January, Australia and
Chile in February and March. New Zealand has the latest harvest
due to its cooler climate with some varietals picked as late as April.

Step 2: Crush grapes

White Wine
Grapes are crushed to break the skins before being pressed to separate the juice from the skins.

Red Wine
The red grapes are de-stemmed and crushed. The juice is left in contact with the skins to achieve the desired tannin and colour levels.

Step 3: Ferment

The juice is now called a must. Fermentation takes place by adding yeast which feeds on the sugar from the grapes to produce alcohol.

Step 4: Rack

Once fermentation is complete the yeast sinks to the bottom. The new wine is racked off the fermentation vessel so that the sediment is not disturbed. The wine is put into tanks, vats or barrels.

Step 5: Malolactic

A second fermentation reaction takes place on all red and some white wines. This involves naturally occurring malic acid converting to lactic acid, which in turn softens the wine and gives it the broader texture.

Step 6: Age

From this stage different styles of wine are handled differently. White aromatic wines are filtered and bottled early. Some whites and many reds are aged in oak barrels. The quality of oak used and the time period in the barrel is reflected in the bottle price.

Step 7: Bottled and Shipped

Prior to bottling, the wines are clarified and filtered so that the wine is stable and translucent in the bottle.
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