How is white wine made?
There are different types of white wines. These are made from white grapes but also from black grapes with white juice. There is a large number of white wine varieties such as: sauvignon, riesling, chardonnay, viognier, rolle, gewurztraminer..
o As soon as the grapes arrive in the cellar (place of vinification), they are pressed. In order to separate the grape berries from the stems (the skeleton) and to obtain only the juice.
All this is done at low temperature, which must remain below 12°C to avoid an early start of the alcoholic fermentation.
o After pressing, the juice obtained (the must) is put into tanks.
At this stage, it is still loaded with solid particles in suspension, the "bourbes". The settling consists in removing them. There are two techniques:
- Centrifugation: the juice is placed in a centrifuge which separates the sludge from the bourbes quickly and efficiently.
- Stabilization: the temperature of the juice is lowered to almost 0°C to protect it. Then, the sludge is allowed to fall slowly by gravity to the bottom of the tank. Finally, the juice is drawn off to separate it from the must.
The alcoholic fermentation, during which the sugars are transformed into alcohol under the action of yeasts, can then begin. This fermentation lasts 10 days on average.
The breeding of yeasts, is done in two ways, a malolactic fermentation, which is usually done in barrels, or in breeding.
After that, the wine is racked to another tank where it is left to stabilize and rest for a few weeks.
Before bottling, the producer can blend several vintages or further treat the wine to make it clearer with protein glues and filtration, before finishing with the final bottling step.