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September 30, 2015

The Art of Winemaking

Wine is one of the most popular beverages all over the world, the tipple of gods, kings and real connoisseurs. Wine is made as a result of the special process called winemaking or vinification. The process of winemaking is long and complicated and can be accomplished only by professional winemakers with special equipment. Winemaking technology includes everything: from the choice of the grapes to bottling of the finished product. Even though, steps of winemaking are approximately the same, winemaking technology can vary in different countries and can be divided to French winemaking, Chilean winemaking, Italian winemaking, winemaking in the UK, etc.

Winemaking starts during the time of harvest when grapes are selected and placed in containers. After harvesting, the grapes are crushed to squeeze out the juice and then are left for some time to ferment. The winemaking technology of red and white wines also differs. If red wine is desired, the skins are left to soak in the juice for a while so that the wine would take the skin’s color. In order to make white wine, the juice is extracted with minimal contact from the grape skin. After these first steps of winemaking, comes the primary fermentation stage that usually takes around one to two weeks while yeast transforms majority of the sugars in the grape juice to ethanol, which is alcohol.

According to winemaking technology, the resulting liquid is then transferred to several vessels for secondary fermentation when the remaining sugar is slowly converted to alcohol and the wine gets clearer in color. Sweet wines are created by allowing some residual sugar to remain before or after fermentation or by adding another alcoholic beverage to kill the yeast before fermentation is completed. Some amount of the wine is then placed in oak barrels to age before bottling that adds aromas to the wine. Most of the wines, however, are placed inside bottles and shipped right away that can be opened starting from after a few months for Beaujolias nouveau wines to twenty years for top wines. It is important to note though that only a small percentage of wines will be tastier after five years, compared to after one year.

Despite the basic process of winemaking, the quality of grapes and the target wine style can force winemakers to combine or omit a step or two. Also, some wines of similar quality are made using other approaches to their production and the origin of a raw product effects the winemaking considerably. For example, the French winemaking is unique as the French believe that the making of wine gifts is more of an art than a science. Each maker is able to add their own personal touch or special method that makes their wine unique; whereas in Italy wine is regarded as a liquid food to be mass produced. There is a wide variety of French wines, the characteristics of each being determined by the type of soil, the climate, the grape variety, the type of fermentation and great amount of other factors, including the 'terroir'. The great French wines include the reds of Burgundy and Bordeaux, Beaujolais, the great whites of Alsace and the Loire, not mentioning the Champagne and Chardonnay sparkling wines.

Europe is the oldest winemaking area in the world, however Chilean winemaking now ranks with the best wines Europe and America can produce. The Spanish conquistadors are responsible for winemaking in Chile. Finding the areas around what they named Santiago to be fertile and of the right climate for growing grapes, they started the industry in order to produce their sacramental wine. This continued through the ages, with local farmers following suit and expanding the Chilean winemaking industry and in the nineteenth century when Chilean wines seriously competed with European wines on the open market. The Chilean wines are based mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Semillon, and Chardonnay grapes, and others are Riesling Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Syrah and the list of classic grapes goes on and on.

Whether you prefer Chilean or French winemaking products, whether you are a red or white, dry or sweet wines connoisseur, at Metal Imagination you will always find a perfect wine bottle holder to make your bottle of wine a perfect gift for any occasion. On our website you will find unique wine bottle holders that feature sports figures, occupations and figures engaged in hobbies and recreational activities, etc.