Making White Wine
Welcome to Vine to Wine this is your host Linda Moran. With the buzz in the air about the upcoming harvest and the advent of the 2009 winemaking year let’s take a look at how white wine is made.
White wine can be made from many different grapes – grapes that are yellow, green or red can all be made into white wine. That’s because the color of the wine comes from the skin of the grapes. If the winemaker decides to make white wine from red grapes, he or she will simply press the juice out and not leave it in contact with the skins. The juice is removed from the skin the seeds and the stems. That juice is fermented by adding yeast which feeds on the sugars and turns it to alcohol and carbon dioxide. This can go on for a few days or a few weeks. Eventually the alcohol increases and kills the yeast cells and they sink to the bottom of the tank or barrel. Those spent yeast cells are referred to as the “lees”. If the wine is aged on it’s lees it means that the lees were left in the barrel or tank and maybe stirred into the wine now and then as it was maturing. After the white wines have evolved to the style or preference the wine is filtered and stabilized so that it is clear and brilliant. At this point it is finally ready to bottle. It will probably be a bit shaken up literally and this will affect the wine’s flavor for a short while. This is the stage when some may refer to the wine as being in bottle shock. It doesn’t usually last very long and the wine is soon ready to be stored and bottle aged or released for sale into the market. So thanks for joining us on today’s Vine to Wine for a quick look at the making of a white wine.