From Grape to Glass: The Art of Wine Making Demystified

From Grape to Glass: The Art of Wine Making Demystified

Apr 22 , 2024

Saleem Shafqat

Wine is a delightful beverage that has been enjoyed by many for centuries. Whether you prefer red or white wine, the making of wine is an intriguing process. But have you ever paused to ponder the journey your favourite bottle goes through before ending up on the shelf of your local liquor store?

From the sun-kissed vineyards to the meticulous ageing process, every step is a testament to the art and science of winemaking. Let's embark on this fascinating journey from grape to glass.

The Vineyard: The Birthplace of Every Bottle

Every bottle of wine starts its journey in a vineyard. The vineyard is more than just a plot of land; it's a living, breathing entity that plays a pivotal role in the wine's final character. The type of grape, the soil it's grown in, the climate of the region, and even the techniques used in its cultivation can influence the wine's taste, aroma, and colour.

Grapes are typically harvested once a year during the grape harvest season. The timing of this harvest is a dance between nature and the winemaker. They wait for that perfect moment when the grapes have just the right balance of sweetness and acidity. This balance will influence the wine's flavour, body, and potential for ageing.

Crushing and Pressing: The Transition from Fruit to Juice

Post-harvest, the grapes are taken to the winery, where they are destemmed and crushed. This process might sound violent, but it's more of a gentle squeeze. The aim is to break the skin of the grapes and let the juice flow out, creating what is known as a 'must'.

For white wines, this must is immediately pressed to separate the juice from the skins, ensuring a clear, crisp wine. In contrast, red wines owe their deep hues to the skins being left in the must during fermentation, allowing the transfer of colour and tannins.

Fermentation: Nature's Alchemy

The must is then introduced to one of the most crucial stages: fermentation. Here, in the quiet depths of fermentation tanks, a kind of magic happens. Yeast is added to the must, and these tiny microorganisms consume the sugar in the grape juice, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. This transformation from sweet juice to wine can take a few days or several weeks, depending on the type of wine.

Ageing and Maturation: Time Adds Character

Once fermentation is complete, the young wine embarks on its maturation journey. This ageing process can occur in stainless steel tanks, which preserve the wine's fresh fruit flavours. However, oak barrels are employed for those wines seeking more depth and complexity. These barrels impart additional flavours and allow the wine to breathe, evolving its character.

The duration of this ageing process is not set in stone. Some wines are best enjoyed young, bursting with fresh flavours, while others benefit from the mellowing effects of time, developing nuanced aromas and tastes.

Bottling: Sealing the Essence

The culmination of all this effort is the bottling process. Some wines might undergo filtration to ensure clarity, while others are bottled in their unfiltered state to preserve their full character. Once in the bottle, the wine is sealed, usually with a cork or screw cap, capturing the essence of its journey from grape to glass.

Choosing the Perfect Bottle at Your Local Bottle Shops

With the vast array of wines available, selecting the perfect bottle might seem like finding a needle in a haystack. But with your newfound knowledge of the winemaking process, you can better appreciate the craftsmanship behind each bottle. When you visit local bottle shops, consider the wine's origin, ageing process, and the type of grape used. Remember, the best wine is not necessarily the most expensive one but the one that resonates with your palate.

Discover the Art of Winemaking at Your Local Bottle Shops

The intricate journey from grape to glass combines tradition, innovation, patience, and passion. As you explore the curated selections at your local bottle shops, take a moment to appreciate the artistry in every bottle.

At Sessions, we strive to provide you with a selection of wines that cover your tastes. With boutique wine bottle shops in West Brunswick and other locations across Melbourne and NSW, make Sessions your truly local liquor store.