Wine production - technology or romance?
Wine production - technology or romance?
There is hardly an issue is so dreamy and beautiful picturesque as written on the production of wine. Here, the production of wine is now a highly technical process that unfortunately has little to do with the romance of wine.
When I describe here the production of wine and call it by its name, methods that are usually concealed, of course, I run the risk of damaging the image of wine. I do not hope that happens. I mean, that certain excesses can be prevented in the mechanization of the production of wine only by these names clearly and reconnaissance runs.
It begins with the vine
The data used for our vines have with the wild grape does not have much in common. Our vines are the result of centuries of breeding . Are thereby substantially desired characteristics are selected and used for further propagation. Often also mutations are utilized, ie, abrupt changes of properties which are then multiplied. The result today is a huge variety of existing varieties.
Breeding may also mean two existing varieties by crossing a completely new variety to produce. In this case we speak of new varieties.
MĂŒller-Thurgau, Scheurebe, Huxelrebe, etc. are well known examples of new varieties.
All in all, it is now out of tens of thousands of varieties.
New feet, needs the vine - grafts
A dangerous aphid called phylloxera caused in the second half of the 19th Century in Europe for a disaster. A large part of all levels Rebbe was destroyed during this period by the phylloxera.
In America, there have been millions of years the phylloxera. The vines are trained there a resistance to phylloxera and are completely immune to it.
What we find today except very very few exceptions (ungrafted vines) in the vineyards are so refined that way vines.
The vine will be trained
If you would grow the vines in the vineyard of course easy, it would hardly be out a decent wine. Instead, the growth of the vine is affected greatly in the vineyard. Regular cutting, binding, folding, etc. is brought up the vine in a precisely defined form of climbing aids.
There are, depending on climatic conditions and tradition, the different education systems.
For education, there is one, at least for quality-oriented producers to limit the amount of grapes per vine. It begins with the winter pruning on, with the vine is left only a limited number of buds. Next we continue with the thinning out in the summer when once again be cut off excess grapes. Grow fewer grapes per vine, the more it can focus on the vine this grape. This leads to a significant improvement in quality of the berries, but also in lower yields of the winemaker.
Without chemistry, it's not in the vineyard
If we are in a wine region and wander our views of the vineyards can be, our hearts beat faster. We see the vine next to the vine, grape vine next. As nice as this is, we should not forget that this is a gigantic monoculture.
Such monocultures require a high level of fertilization and are very susceptible to animal pests.
Without the use of biocides had no chance against the winemakers all these threats, and we could not enjoy wine.
From the vineyard to the cellar - the reading
Eventually, finally, the grape is so far. Either it is perfectly ripe, or they must be read, because otherwise the rot would no longer dominate.
The reading time of course depends also on what type of wine the winemaker strives for. In an ice wine , he must wait and correspondingly low external temperatures. That's always a gamble. But here, too, can something be "nachgeholfen" films, with which the vineyard is covered, or spray to prevent unwanted ice actually in Botrytis help to survive the waiting period.
Even an artificial freezing of grapes is feasible and in some countries, such as California, and also allowed to meet in practice.
The harvest in the vineyards, an annual attraction. Crowds of wine tourists will arrive at the region to watch or even help to get the wine in the cellar and to a spring whites, Sauser, brakeman - or whatever the still fermenting grape juice is called in the regions - to be rewarded.
Here, too, play a machine now critical. It would hardly be possible to harvest all the grapes by hand-picking. The machine makes it much faster, with less manpower and at least as reliable for bulk wines. One advantage of mechanical harvesting is not to forget: The reader may be due to the higher speed especially in volatile weather in the short term and performed at the optimum time.
Only the better qualities, as well as grapes from the machines used to steep vineyards are picked by hand. Selection (in most growing areas) and higher predicates must be even read by hand in Germany. The handheld reader has the advantage of being read selectively in multiple passes with a time interval then only the most mature grapes (or too lazy to read out) can be, so that even during the harvest of the grapes is a first selection.
After cutting the grapes from the vine to reach quickly and hopefully without damage in the press room. The size of the collection vessels plays an important role in determining whether the berries remain intact.
A few producers make the effort to select just the grapes before pressing again. Unusable grapes are thrown away. Sometimes it even goes so far as to be cut out of the grapes themselves are rotten and diseased berries.
Away with the stems and combs
The de-stemming (or stemming) is used to separate the grapes from the stems.
In white wine production is no need to de-stemming, if the so-called whole cluster pressing is used, in which the grapes are pressed fully, including combs and sticks. But this is a rather rare procedure.
In the production of red wines, the stems and combs in conventional fermentation mitgekeltert or previously removed by de-stemming. The so-called carbonic maceration (maceration carbonic) grapes are fermented in the uninjured whole.
First, only gentle pressure - crimping
If the berries are not already in stemming or during the harvest were ground in special cars mash the grapes are now being squeezed by a slight pressure to pop the grape skins (which does not apply to the whole-cluster pressing). The resulting mash must be received at this time sulfurized in order to avoid premature, wild fermentation or oxidation.
Less is more - the juice of red wine mash
After crimping can the already leaking juice disconnect (juice extraction). This juice is compared with the later emerging sap less tannin and dyes. On the other hand, the rest must remain but a higher dye and tannic, resulting in stronger results in red wines.
The extracted juice at this early stage can be used to produce rosĂ© or to produce white wine from red grapes (white wine may not be known in Germany and is therefore often called Blanc de Noirs) may be used.
For white wine, this method has a lower priority.
Out with the MufftĂ¶nen - MaischeschĂ¶nung
Even the mash can be freed from unwanted properties by chemical treatment methods.
A little more patience - cold maceration, maceration
To escape from red wine (and sometimes also for white wine), the shells additional flavors and colors, the mash is cooled and thus for a time be allowed to stand without using the fermentation.
This results in blender - mash heating
The partially used for red wine mash heating enhances the dye extracted from the juice, it results in a darker color of the finished wine.
The mash is heated for this purpose at temperatures of about 60 Â° C to 85 Â° C. Another reason for the mash is heated, the fact that any germs are killed, making the risk-free fermentation.
Subsequently, in contrast to the conventional production of red wines, the must is pressed from the mash and then fermented. The procedure is therefore easier to handle than the usual fermentation for red wines on the lees.
The flavors of the wines structure is altered by this procedure, so the mash heat is rejected by many wine lovers.
From the press - of pressing
For the actual pressing process , there are different technologies. Common to all is that a mechanical pressure on the slurry separates the juice from the solids. Spread the spindle press, the screw press, hose press, the old basket press, the modern pneumatic presses. The latter allow a very fine adjustment for the pressure, so that undesired constituents from the shell or from the nuclei (or of stems in the whole bunch pressing) will not be dissolved out.
White wine is pressed in any case, before fermentation, red wine, however, as a rule only after fermentation (which is not true for the process of heating mash).
Addition of enzymes
Enzymes play in the metabolic processes within the wine an essential role. The addition of enzymes can enhance the flavors and color yield. Also allows for the elimination of KlĂ€rschwierigkeiten the must or finished wine enzymes enforce.
Out with the Trubteilen - Clarification of the must
Particularly for white wine must be prior to further processing (ie usually fermentation) clarified. This is done by either the mash is easy to stand in a settling tank to settle Trubteile, or by MostschĂ¶nung, the addition of enzymes, filtration, using centrifuges or a combination of several methods.
The use of activated carbon is to remove such false colors and the color and tannins possible.
Concentration by reverse osmosis
With the help of reverse osmosis water is extracted from the juice. This increases the relative proportion of the remaining substances (extract) to what is schlieĂlicheinen more concentrated wine. In reverse osmosis, the must is separated by a semipermeable wall of a chamber with water. By increasing the pressure in the chamber, the juice of the water molecules move in the must into the chamber with the water.
This process is becoming increasingly popular among wine producers in the world.
Concentration by vacuum distillation
The vacuum distillation extracts the juice and water leads to a concentration of the wine.
The method utilizes that the boiling point of water at low pressure drops. Boils at a pressure of 0.03 bar (that is evaporated) water in the must already at a temperature of about 25 Â° C. The resulting vapor is condensed on cooled surfaces and withdrawn in this manner.
Turbo Ice Wine - cryoextraction (freeze concentration)
Most of cryoextraction concentration similar to the principle of icewine production.
Water-containing foods are slowly cooled below 0 Â° C to form pure ice crystals, and the other constituents are concentrated. Separating the ice crystals from the residual liquid is called freeze concentration.
The freezing temperature of the grapes begins at about -2 Â° C.
The grapes must be pressed cold (below 0 Â° C) so that the concentrated juice is not diluted again.
Make up for what nature did not make it - chaptalisation
During the fermentation of fruit sugars into alcohol and CO 2 is converted. If the fruit sugar is not sufficient, to be aided by the addition of cane or beet sugar to the must before fermentation.
In Germany, the chaptalisation (enrichment) allowed for predicate wines (ie, Kabinett, SpĂ€tlese, etc.) are not.
The main thing in winemaking - fermentation
Fermentation means sugar into alcohol, CO 2 and heat to convert. This is the task of yeasts . Most yeasts are present in natural form, if they were not killed by some of the measures described above.
Hardly a producer but relies on the fermentation of these natural yeasts. On the contrary, many will be killed off before fermentation targeted by sterilization of the must to ferment then with the help of artificial yeasts added to the wine much more control.
Are yeasts, such as the name implies, farmed. It implies that certain properties of the yeast is promoted. These properties can influence the fermentation behavior (effective temperature range, sensitivity to sugar, alcohol, carbon dioxide, etc.). The yeasts determined and pervasive aroma of the wine later. With the help of suitably cultured yeasts can now affect the aromatic character of the wine far-reaching.
The addition of GĂ€rhilfsstoffen HefenĂ€hrsalzen and can support the work of selected yeasts.
An important factor in the fermentation is temperature. Traditionally, the fermentation temperature was more or less self-regulated and subject to cellar temperature. In modern cellars, the fermenters are cooled and the temperature is automatically controlled. This allows for a cool (and slower) fermentation. The size of the digester can exercise a significant influence on the fermentation temperature, the smaller they are, the lower the fermentation temperature. The fermentation temperatures and the resulting fermentation times have great influence on the style of wine. Each producer has his own philosophy.
Turbo-oak - artificial micro-oxidation (oxidation hyper)
By injecting tiny particles oxygen into the wine (which is used particularly for red wines), the effect is simulated, which normally occurs only after aging in oak barrels. The wine and the tannins in the wine contained in supple.
Malolactic fermentation (malolactic fermentation)
The second or malolactic fermentation is not caused by yeasts, but by bacteria (lactobacilli). In this fermentation sharp malic acid into softer lactic acid is converted.
For red wine, the malolactic fermentation is always desirable. Is not it about, they can be initiated by the artificial addition of lactic acid bacteria.
For white wine, it depends on the desired wine style and from the regional traditions, whether malolactic fermentation is carried out.
Most German white wines do not know as secondary fermentation, white wines are barrel by contrast, usually at least a partial malolactic fermentation.
Chemistry can help with - beautiful
After that, the wine, which is the fermented cider, fined , ie it is free of undesirable properties. This can be done by mechanical means (filtered or allowed to settle) or by chemical means. By chemical fining can as iron, heavy metals, sulfur, tannins, or simply substances that have been added by a previous fining, the wine will be withdrawn. Many errors can be eliminated by appropriate wine fining, such as sulfurous off.
In Germany, for example, approved the following fining agents: bentonite, animal protein, isinglass, Kaolinerden, casein, silica, gelatin and tannin.
The me is too sour - deacidification
Too much acid by acidification eliminated. This is done by adding calcium carbonate or potassium carbonate, tartaric acid which is precipitated as a salt (tartrate), but also by the malolactic fermentation (see above).
The essential absurdity - Weinstein precipitated by cold stabilization
Unfortunately it has not yet gotten around to all consumers that Weinstein is not a quality defect in wine. Therefore, the cream of tartar is often precipitated before AbfĂ€llung artificially. This may be the simplest case, by cooling the wine for several days to reach just above the freezing point. For assistance, contact can be added Weinstein.
The addition of metatartaric (prepared by esterification of tartaric acid) to the wine before bottling to prevent too for a few months, the deposition of tartar crystals. Weinstein is nothing else than the tasteless and odorless, no health acceptable salt of tartaric acid.
Barrels for poor people - aging in oak barrels
The expansion of the wine is now primarily in stainless steel tanks, large or small wooden barrels.
The development leads to reductive in stainless steel tanks, fresh and fruity wines. The expansion in large oak barrels results in a different style of wine, because of the constant, minimum air delivery through the wooden walls of a micro-oxidation takes place, which makes the wine smoother and more durable.
The small wooden barrels (barriques), in addition to this effect nor the property, a source of additional wood tannins and flavors of the wine. The wine will be ideally complex.
Meanwhile, in some countries, procedures are applied, which also have this effect, but much less expensive: It will be a special wine wood chips added, as he would otherwise be expanded in stainless steel tanks or wooden barrels. It's faster and cheaper than expanding in oak barrels. The problem is not proven is that method in the finished wine.
Against colds? - Addition of ascorbic acid
When ascorbic acid is pure vitamin C. This can be added to the wine prior to bottling to its acid content and thus also to increase the aging potential.
In some countries, the addition of tartaric acid is allowed and practiced there as necessary.
Fresh, it should be - the addition of carbon dioxide
Sparkling wines fresher and livelier. This effect is sometimes desirable in young white wines. If not yet available from the fermentation is carbon dioxide in the wine may be added that it artificially before bottling.
Adding or leave it inside? - Residual sugar
Residual sugar is particularly desirable in some white wines.
The yeasts generally work as long as either of the grapes in existing or added sugar completely converted into alcohol or sugar and / or alcohol content is so high that the yeast adjust their work.
If you want to create light, sweet wines rest, stopping the fermentation can be by cooling or addition of SO 2 artificially. Or you can leave the wine and then called the thorough fermentation fining enforce the wine sweet again later. When fining is unfermented (ie sweet) grape must, which was protected by sterilization before an undesirable fermentation.
Common today, the second method (fining), but also stopping the fermentation is carried out mainly by quality-conscious producers.
Now is mixed - blended
As is usual in most countries of the blend of several grape varieties, Germany has a different tradition: here are mostly varietal wines sold.
Blends are generally not the grapes or the must, but only the developed almost finished wine.
Blends are also wines from different backgrounds and from different vintages. Allowed in Germany up to 15% of wines from different grape varieties, vintages or locations are stated on the label. This is the sweet reserve if necessary, so that may come in the sum of up to 25% of wine from other locations, vintages and grape varieties.
Last but not least - Filling
When filling sterility is particularly important to remove impurities, for example, in the bottle can lead to secondary fermentation to be avoided.
Mostly for this reason is bottled under inert gas (nitrogen or carbon dioxide). Often takes a hot filling, where the wine is heated during filling at 55 Â° C in order to keep it sterile.
Many of the above-described process, whether technical or chemical will not sound as though one could drink the wine produced in this way really in good conscience. I think that would be a fallacy. Said methods are tested and accepted. Chemical contamination of the wine we need not fear as long as producers keep the law.
I for one like to drink my wine and I have no anxiety disorder. I hope you will continue to go like that!