When one thinks of the production of famous wines, there are areas of the world such as France, Italy, Argentina, and California that come to mind, where very special grape varieties are cultivated, given the specific soil and climate characteristics of the different areas, and limited-edition, high-value and very expensive bottles are often produced.
English wine, however, has been gaining popularity lately and is also in great demand outside the country. This, mainly because it has been realised that the UK is also an area of production of excellent wines and, in some areas, besides being considered a science, it is identified as a true art.
On the other hand, the winemaking process is a very complex affair, where profound knowledge is required, ranging from the characteristics of the raw material to all the best techniques, technologies and tools to be used in the winemaking process.
Mother Nature, in fact, has endowed this particular fruit with the ability to transform itself into an equally tasty nectar, simply through the natural activation of specific reactions such as fermentation, tannin transfer and much more.
At the same time, however, in order to obtain top quality products, the regulation of the elements that contribute to the various stages of vinification must also be carefully followed and also with the addition of specific ‘facilitators’ that are useful in giving balance, aromaticity and structure to the wine.
One example of this is the choice of yeasts to be added to the fermentation process and which are responsible for both the alcohol content of the wine and its aromatic notes, but also for the tannins, which are responsible for the ruby red colour or orange notes of some white wines, as well as the body, roundness and above all the resistance in wines destined for longer-term ageing.
In order to obtain quality and reliable products, it is essential to carefully select the grapes from which the must will be made and to use suitable tools for the wine-making process. In this sense, one can consult many well-stocked and reliable online shops dedicated precisely to the sale of everything needed for the winemaking process in the UK, such as AEB UK or many others.
What do you need to know, though, if you want to delve into this wonderful art?
What stages does vinification involve
To start a winemaking process, you first need the right tools, both useful to prepare the must and to facilitate all the subsequent steps. Pressing machines, food containers, bottles, corks, but also barrels and tanks, if this is done professionally, as well as the entire production chain for draught and bottling.
This aspect would require a more in-depth study in its own right, because, a bit like the raw materials, the materials where the wine is fermented and matured can also influence the final taste. One thinks, trivially, of the tannins naturally present in wooden barrels, which are in any case transferred to the wines aged in them.
In any case, the macro-phases of wine production can be summarised mainly in pressing, from which the must is separated from the grapes, and fermentation, which follows distinct phases, depending on whether the wine is white or red. In the latter case, maceration with skins and marc also takes place during fermentation. In some areas of the UK, it is customary to blend the new blend with that of previous vintages for a higher quality product.
This is followed by the bottling and maturation stage, which can take up to years, to produce high quality wines.