How Wine is Made
Many factors affect wine production: the grape, the harvest, the cultivation, the type of ground, and the climatic and environmental conditions.
For good wine, the moment of the harvest is chosen carefully and only the best grapes are selected.
For highly prized grapes, the harvest must be done by hand. Otherwise, sophisticated automated methods are used.
Then the wine-making process begins. Depending on the type of wine, several methods of wine-making are used.
For red wines, the grapes must first be separated from the bunch. Then, the grapes are gently pressed and the pulp and juice are put in wining vases -- once upon a time made of cement or fiberglass -- which are now almost always made of steel or wood.
Inside the wining vases, the fermentation process begins in which the sugars turn into ethyl alcohol, and the tannins are released.
Simultaneously, the colored substance that remains inside the skins is released. This substance gives its color to the "new wine" or "must" which has now become wine.
After a short period -- usually between a week and 20 days -- the process of "de-wining" begins. The solid deposits are separated and removed from the liquid part of the wines.
White wine-making is different from red wine-making. So far we have described red wine-making. For white wines, only the juice of the grapes is fermented.
Although it seems counter-sensical, white wines can be obtained from white or red grapes. White wines do not require tannin or the substances of the grapeskins, both of which are necessary for red wine production.
Aging is the last part of the process. Aging allows wines, especially highly prized wines, to express their particolar organoleptic (taste and smell) characteristics.
Aging is a process of slow oxidation. This wine receives the oxygen that is requires first through the wood pores of the wine barrel and then through the wine corks. The wine loses part of its original acidity and reaches its final alcohol content. Also in the aging process, the wine takes on its fresh and fruity scent that becomes progressively refined.