Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of grapes (or other fruits and berries).
How is Wine Made?
Much like anything else, making wine can be a very simple process, with complex steps added along the way.
In this section, we lay out the most basic steps in order to give you a good general idea of how wine is made.
A vigneron (grape farmer) grows the grapes in the vineyard. Sometimes the vigneron is also the winemaker, but this is not always the case.
HarvestOnce the grapes reach the proper ripeness, they are picked (harvested) and brought to the winery.
The winery gently crushes the grapes and removes them from their stems. Then the crushed grapes are pressed in order to squeeze out the juice.
*The grapes are crushed and fermented for red wine before pressing off the juice.
At this point, yeast is introduced to the juice to begin the process of fermentation. Learn more about fermentation below.
Once the wine is fermented, it is racked (pumping the wine off the dead yeast cells) into barrels or stainless steel tanks to allow the wine to age.
What is Fermentation?
Fermentation is the process of converting sugar to ETHANOL (ethyl alcohol) and CO2 by way of yeast.
When the yeast is introduced to the sugary juice, it eats through the sugar and converts it into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
The CO2 gasses off into the air, leaving behind the alcohol (which, in the case of grape juice, is the wine!).