The vine belongs to the genusVitis,in which there are many species. Traditionally, wine is produced from different varieties ofVitis vinifera, which originated on the European continent. There are however, other species that originated on the American continent. Some of these are infertile, others produce wines with very particular organoleptic qualities (known asfoxéor foxy), and these are not very popular. However, these “American” varieties have a greater resistance to disease thanVitis vinifera.In the 1930s attempts were made to create hybrids that would be resistant to disease, like the American species, but would also produce wines of the same quality asVitis vinifera.Unfortunately, these were a complete failure.
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.
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.
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.
This area is likely to become better known for its sparkling wines, which are Australia's first. Great Western resembles an Australian
desert-like version of Tuscany, with many gently undulating hills. The climate is dry but fairly cool by Australian standards.The difference between day and night temperatures can be quite high in summer. There is low rainfall and irrigation is therefore usually necessary. The soil consists principally of layers of poor, highly acidic soil with salty undertones which does not simplify the making of the wines from here.
This is a fairly unknown area within the hinterland of Portland. The three well-known grapes of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier provide the basis for sparkling wines. The area is ideally suited for making sparkling wines because it gets relatively less hours of sun than the rest of southern Australia.
The Yarra Valley, which is better known than the other two areas of Victoria, is situated on the outskirts of Melbourne. The soil is a mixture of loam, clay, and sand that is extremely acidic.