Red winemaking process
The grapes are picked when they are ripe, usually as determined by taste and sugar content.
Destemmer and Crusher
This removes the stems from the grape bunches, and crushes the grapes (but does not press them) so they are exposed to the yeast for fermenting, and so the skins can better impart colour to the wine.
The must (juice and grape solids) is allowed to sit, picking up flavour, colour and tannin. Too long and the wine is bitter, too short and it is thin.
Yeasts turn the sugar in the wine primarily into carbon dioxide and alcohol (ethanol) producing heat in the process.
Grape skins and other solids float to the top, and need to be pushed back down to stay in contact with the must. This "cap" can be punched down with a tool, or must is pumped from the bottom of the tank over the cap submerging it again.
Drain the free run juice
The best quality wine is made just from the juice portion of the must. It is removed and the rest of the drier must (now called pomace) is sent to the press.
This squeezes the remaining juice out of the pomace. If the pomace is pressed too hard, or too many times, the result is low quality wine.
Cold settle juice
The juice, now wine, needs to settle after this ordeal.
Moving the wine from one tank to another tank allows solids and anything else that might cloud the wine to be left behind.
This secondary fermentation can turn the tart malic acid (of green apples) into the softer lactic acid (of milk). Many, but not all red wines go through this step.
We usually age our reds in barrel for 6 months.
Fining and stabilisation
A process that helps to remove anything that may be making the wine cloudy.
A process that removes any fining agents, or other undesirable elements, in the wine.
This is done carefully so that the wine does not come in contact with air.