Posts Tagged ‘Made’



How is Red Wine Made?

See how red wine is made with an easy-to-understand infographic. How is red wine made? Harvest grapes, smash them up and watch as yeast transforms the grape’s sugar into alcohol!

The basic concept behind winemaking is very simple, but the process can vary greatly depending on who makes the wine and what techniques they prefer to use.

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Discovery / Science Channel’s “How It’s Made” Crystal Wine Glasses episode:

The magical world of a barrel cellar.

The magical world of a barrel cellar.


I have often wondered why winemakers put their wines, white or red, in oak barrels and age them for sometimes months at a time.

The University of California Davis recently conducted a seminar on oak management and wine sensory issues. It looked at the use of oak barrels and oak adjuvants such as oak staves and oak powder with regard to how the oak may affect the wine’s chemical composition, aroma and flavors.

To me, the aroma of a wine is the “smell” of the specific grape varietal. But this very sensitive element can be easily influenced by the winemaking techniques and the use of oak barrels.

One obvious question is: why were oak barrels chosen to store wine in the beginning? The barrel is a perfect container to age wine in and is easily moved around manually. The answer seems to be related to the fact that oak barrels do not leak if properly coopered.

One of the most intriguing questions that was discussed at this seminar was what would have been the impact on wine tastes and wine’s appeal if a different tree had been chosen for barrel production. Has the effects of the oak barrel basically defined our tastes for different styles of wine?

Most European oak barrels are made from the Quercus petrea or Quercus robur while Quercus alba or the white oak is the main species used in American oak barrels. Today a good French oak barrel sells for around $1,000 a barrel and many of these barrels can only be used for several years before they lose their ability to enhance the flavors of the wine.

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Australia’s commodities boom created the $200,000 high-school dropout, the world’s richest woman, and the least affordable housing market on earth. And it could soon put a dent in the makers of Yellow Tail, the best selling Australian wine in America. From the WSJ’s Caroline Henshaw:

Australia’s largest family-owned winery relies on the U.S. for three-quarters of its sales, but the Australian dollar’s rise against the U.S. dollar has made its products less competitive against wines from rival regions such as California’s Napa Valley and South America.

Casella Wines is looking to shave costs and secure a deal with lender National Australia Bank ahead of an extended Jan. 30 deadline. A failure to secure a new loan could force the company to sell off vineyards or other assets, Chief Executive John Casella told The Wall Street Journal.
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