Winemaking Online Class, Lesson Seven at WSU

The final class lesson looked at red winemaking. This rather lengthy class reviewed many of the previously presented winemaking practices as well as highlighted new practices. The lecture began with fermentation. Red wines ferment at warm temperatures. Oxidation is usually not a problem since the skins and seeds form a cap above the fermenting juice. Various methods of mixing this cap with the juice were discussed including punch down, pump over rotary fermentors and pulsed air.

The practices of cold soaking, thermovinification and extended maceration were discussed. It is interesting to note that the instructor pointed out that the benefits of cold soaking are not supported by the current research. On a side note, I’m glad I didn’t spend an extra $500 to cold soak my Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The instructor discussed adding enzymes to the fermentation and the practice of carbonic maceration.

After fermentation, the must is pressed. Barrel aging and oak alternatives were presented. The instructor talked about oxidation of red wines and the time to be careful about oxidation.

In the previous lesson, the instructor discussed wine styles using the French regions of Burgandy and Bordeaux. In this lesson he also discussed red wine styles and the French regions of Burgandy, Bordeaux and the Rhône.

I often hear that wine is made in the vineyard. But the style of wine is made by the winemaker. There are so many different ways of making wine and so many decisions to make that perhaps winemakers should be given more credit to making the finished wine.

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