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   Many of the world's vest producers believe that great wine is first created in the vineyard.

  Indeed, it is difficult to argue with the suggestion that using top-quality ingredients helps when transforming grapes into red wine or good wine. White wine can be made from both white and black grapes. Crushing breaks the skins, after which de-staking takes place. Gentle pressing is favoured and skins are removed. Fermentation traditionally happends in oak barrels, although today, when minimal change is required, most white wines will ferment in stainless steel vats, Maturation in oak barrels can add another dimension and flavour profile to a good wine.

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Red wine must be made from black grapes. This time the juice is fermented on the skins for better colour extraction. The juice, which runs freely after fermentation, is of the highest quality. The remaining pomace, or skins, are further crushed to release any more juice, which is generally used in blending for the best red wine.

 Maturation can be controlled on oak barrels. The filtration of red wine may be minimal, if at all. Most fruity wines made to be consumed young will have little further maturation or development in the bottle. Some of the world's great classics however, can evolve slowly, to reach a plateau of maturity and amazing levels of complexity.

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Using oak

Oak wine Oak barrels are used by a winemaker to impart complementary flavours and aromas to a wine. Barrels are toasted at various levels from light to medium to heavy, and will be selected to suit o particular grape variety or style of wine. Barrels are a convenient container in which to store a wine, as the subtle exchanges with oxygen, moisture ans alcohol help the wine to evolpe from the youthul 'green' to more complex and mature flavours.

 Many different types of oak are used in the winemaking process, with white oak being the most common. French, Hungarian, and North American oak are the best-known species used, with each one having slightly different attribures. Just as vines and grapes are distinctly individual when groun under differnet conditions or areas, so are oak trees.

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   Very few wineries have their own cooperage, preferring to rely more often on purchasing barrels that have been carefully milled, cured, and toasted. It is an expresive business to be made by the barrel supplier.

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