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From Grapes to Glass

9th November 2018

You love wine and everything that comes with it. But have you ever wondered how it goes from grapes to glass?

Whether you’re in the Swan Valley, Western Australia or Bordeaux, France, there are 5 main stages to wine making – We share them with you today.

Wine grapes

1. The Harvesting

Fine wine requires the grapes to be harvested at the perfect time.

How do winemakers know when is the perfect time to harvest? With a combination of science and old-fashioned tasting.

Harvesting can be done mechanically or by hand. Many vineyards prefer to hand harvest, as mechanical harvesters can sometimes be too tough on the grapes.

For premium conditions, grape picking begins at dawn and ends early on hot summer days in the Swan Valley.

2. The Crushing

For thousands of years, men and women performed the ‘harvest dance’ in barrels and pressers to crush the grapes – The time-honored tradition of stomping or trodding the grapes into what is commonly referred to as must.

Today, much of the fun-loving ritual has disappeared from the wine making process, with mechanical crushes performing the duty instead.

As sad as that may seem, mechanical pressing has in fact improved the quality and longevity of wine, while reducing the winemaker’s need for preservatives.

3. The Fermenting

Fermenting is perhaps the most magical part of the wine making process.

What does this magical part do? Simply put, fermentation is where the sugar converts into alcohol.

There are many different technologies and techniques used during this process, with the one used being dependant on the grape.

The fermenting stage includes:

4. The Aging

Like the fermenting, the aging stage too, has lots of choices for winemakers and their choice will depend on the style of wine they wish to create.

The main wine aging choices are:

5. The Bottling

The final stage of the wine making process involves the bottling of wine. The winemaker has the choice of bottling a wine immediately, or they can give a wine additional aging.

Further aging can be done in bottle, stainless steel or ceramic tanks, large wooden ovals, or small barrels, commonly called barriques.

The choices and techniques employed in this final stage of the process are nearly endless, as are the end results.

Pouring wine in glass

Now that you know that 5 main stages of the wine making process, are you ready to have a go at making your own?

The Swan Valley has a range of Masterclasses available, from ‘Make your own wine’ at Sandalford, to the ‘Wine 101 – Wine Appreciation Class’ at Upper Reach.

Why not try your hand at wine making today?

Want someone to take you there? Book a Swan Valley Wine Tour with Top Gun Tours today!


Posted in Education Wines and tagged on 9th November 2018.




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