How To Make Wine With The Wog With The Grog

There is a reason Italy produces some of the most revered wines in the world. That is because Italian winemakers have a deep respect for tradition, passion for their craft, and a commitment to quality that so often has been passed down for generations.

But how exactly do they make wine? Allow me to give you a brief lesson as we take a short walk into the wonderful world of wine.

The UNESCO Heritage site that produces Bosca
  1. Harvesting the Grapes

The wine-making process begins, unsurprisingly, with harvesting the grapes. In Italy, this usually takes place in late August through October, depending on the grape variety and the region. Most Italian winemakers prefer to harvest the grapes by hand, which allows them to select only the ripest and healthiest fruit and maintain that quality they hold so dear to their heart.

  1. Sorting and Crushing the Grapes

After the grapes are harvested, they are carefully sorted to remove any leaves, stems, or other debris. Though some winemakers keep the stems on, as they can add flavour and texture to some wines, such as reds. Then, the grapes are crushed to release the juice. Now we all have that image of the grapes crushed by foot, and it is a traditional method that is still used in some regions. However, most wineries today use mechanical crushers, which is not nearly as much fun.

  1. Fermentation

Once the grapes are crushed, the juice is placed in fermentation tanks. Like other alcohols, yeast is added to the juice to begin the fermentation process to convert the sugars in the juice into alcohol, and gives the wine colour, flavour and tannins. For white and sparking wines, they are pressed and fermented without grape skins, then fermented at generally lower temperatures . The fermentation process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, sometimes even several times, depending on the type of wine being made.

  1. Maturation

After fermentation, the wine is transferred to traditional oak barrels or stainless steel tanks for ageing, some might even use terracotta. This is where the wine develops its complex flavours and aromas. The length of the ageing process depends on the type of wine being made. For example, a light, fruity wine like a Cannonau might only be aged for a few months, while a full-bodied, complex wine like a Barolo might be aged for several years.

  1. Bottling and Aging

Once the wine has aged, it is bottled and stored in a cellar. Many Italian winemakers believe that wine should be aged for a certain amount of time in the bottle before it is consumed. This allows the flavours and aromas to develop even further, to the best possible outcome for the customer.

The traditional cellars of the Enrico Serafino winery 

So we can see, the wine-making process in Italy is a labor of love that requires patience, skill, and a deep respect for tradition. From the hand-harvesting of the grapes to the long ageing process, Italian winemakers pour their heart and soul into every bottle. So the next time you enjoy a glass of Italian wine, raise a toast to the winemakers who made it possible.


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