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Tasting glossary

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Grapes transportation
Grapes are brought to the winery in a variety of vehicles and containers. The grapes must arrive quickly and intact at the winery. This means that the grapes should preferably be placed in small crates of 20-90 kilos so as to avoid impact damage.

Total de-stalking prior to fermentation is necessary when a wine-maker desires a soft and fine wine. One must only try the taste of a grape pip or stalk to understand the negative characteristics it can convey to a wine. Today the best mechanical de-stalkers replicate the care of the traditional techniques leaving the grapes intact and removing every stalk before entering the press. Inside the destalker is a spinning cylindrical device, holding various inner plates that attract the stalk and pull them away from the grape, leaving both the stalk and the grape in perfect condition.

Crushing' describes the preliminary pressing of the grape skin to free the pulp and juice. The cutting of the skin can be more or less intense depending on grape consistency and the wine desired. Traditional techniques left the grape almost intact following the manual destalking, and it's fall into the fermentation tank.

It enables...
• The first separation of the juice from the solid part.
• It permits the transportation of the grapes through tubes.
• It invokes favourable multiplication of the yeasts.
• It disperses the yeasts in the must.
• Accentuates the dissolution of the colour and tannin.
• Shortens the duration of fermentation and facilitates its completion.

In warm climates the pressing can activate fermentation too quickly.
• It can free the seed conveying astringent substances.
• It can create a lot of lees.

In the old artisan procedure the stalks were manually separated in the vine at the end of every row, and the grapes were gently pressed into the collecting tubs. At the winery the traditional procedure was to pour the grapes onto a trellis-work, and the workers, with little wooden rakes, rubbed the grapes until lightly squashed. They then fell through into the fermentation tank.

See also in vinification: Remounting and Maceration - Drawing-off and Pressing





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