Winemaking is a very important process to obtain quality wines. Winemakers always say that a good grape can produce two types of wine, good or bad, but a bad grape is very difficult to make a good wine, but you can get a correct one.
1. The harvest: The first step in the production of white wine.
The harvest is the first important point, where a first selection must already be made, separating the damaged, spoiled, rotten bunches … only the healthy ones are adequate.
2. Transportation to the winery
Transportation to the winery is no less important. You can get more information in the post we dedicate to this topic, harvest and transport to the winery .
3. Unloading in the warehouse
The grapes are unloaded onto the “receiving hopper”, which will lead them directly to the crusher or destemmer.
For white wine it is usually destemmed: Destemming is the process of removing the stem . There are different techniques, there are those who de-stem before squeezing and there are those who do it later.
After destemming, we proceed to crushing the grapes . This operation consists of breaking the grains to extract the must, with just enough pressure so as not to break seeds, which provide unwanted flavors.
6. Pressing: Part of the white wine making process
The resulting paste can be macerated for a period of time before pressing it, but the usual thing is to press it and pump the must into the fermentation tanks.
It is important not to make very aggressive pressing , because with softer pressing we will avoid unwanted flavors.
Consisting of letting the must rest for a few hours so that the solid particles suspended in them are deposited, by decantation or gravity, at the bottom of the tank.
8. Fermentation: how white wine is made.
Perhaps the trickiest part of how to make white wine. Fermentation is the process by which the sugars contained in the must are transformed into alcohol.
For this to happen, the yeasts must intervene , which can be naturally present in the grape, or which we can add artificially to facilitate fermentation. Yeasts metabolize sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
During this process it is essential to control the density of the must , in order to determine the amount of sugar that remains in the must and, on the other and above all, the temperature since an excess can lead to a stop in fermentation. , a defect does not make it start or ferments too slowly.
The end of fermentation occurs spontaneously when the sugar runs out.
In this way a dry wine will have been obtained.
When the intention is to produce semi-dry or sweet wines , the fermentation must be stopped by chemical means (addition of sulfur dioxide) or by physical means (cooling or overheating) at the moment that the residual sugar content is adequate for the wine to be obtained. .
Fermentation without contact with the skins , typical of white musts, produces light and very clean wines.
However, at present there are tendencies that opt for a certain maceration of the must with the pomace, slowing down the fermentation by means of cold treatments. This method gives the wine more body , enriches the sensations in the mouth, increases its aromatic power , allows a better evolution in the bottle and gives it a longer life.
Once the fermentation is finished, the wine is subjected to two or three racks ( passing from one tank to another, allowing the solid particles to precipitate by gravity ) to eliminate the solid remains.
This operation is carried out between November and January so that the low temperatures avoid contamination by microorganisms. Each tank evolves in a way, so we proceed to the selection of qualities and the corresponding mixtures ( coupages ) to achieve the desired result.
Finally, a definitive “clarification” is made .
It is a matter of adding chemical substances that are clarifying, that drag the possible remains of the suspension that have managed to escape from the racking. Traditionally , egg whites have also been used in a more natural way .
Before bottling, the last filtering is carried out . There are different types of filters, more or less dense, that can leave the wine completely clean and transparent.
Bottling is the process of putting it in the bottle. It is important not to aerate the wine too much, the less contact with the outside environment the better for the conservation of the wine in the bottle and the evolution in the medium term.