Have you ever wondered how your glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Shiraz is actually made?
Winemakers around the world use a variety of techniques and technologies for producing modern wines, but at the end of the day the process is very similar. The only slight variation is that red and white wines are made using slightly different processes. This is a simplified overview of the journey a grape takes from the vine, to your glass. We also detail the - Spinning Cone Column - process we use to make our Edenvale alcohol removed wines.
Steps in the production of wine
Grape picking It all starts with ripe grapes ready to be picked on the vine. On small vineyards this is done by hand, but larger operations use mechanical harvesters. Ideally picking is done at a time when sugar levels are stable. In warm climates harvesting is often done at night. At this stage the grapes still have their stems, some leaves and are ready for sorting.
Sorting This step is often done by hand, with any loose debris or damaged grapes removed before the grapes go to be crushed.
Crushing The grapes are then put through a machine that destems them and they are then crushed. (White grapes follow a slightly different process in that they are now put into a press, where the skins are removed and all sediment is removed before fermentation begins.)
Fermentation The crushed grapes are then moved to fermentation vats, for the first ‘chemical’ portion of the process. This is where sugar becomes alcohol with the help of the addition of yeast. In this step red wine grapes need to be continually ‘pumped’ to make sure the grape skins, that have risen to the surface, are in contact with the juice in the vat. The skins contain tannins, which are essential to the character of a wine. Red grape skins have a lot more tannin than white grapes.
Aging The wine is now moved to vats, either steel or oak barrels, for aging. This is where the winemaker can put their own stamp on the character of the wine, by varying the time and type of vat used. Many white wines are not aged for longer than a few months before they are ready for bottling. Red wines are aged for longer - anywhere from 18 - 24 months.
Filtering and bottling The wine is then ready to be filtered before it is bottled, labelled, marketed and sold to retailers - where it will appear on shelves ready to be bought by wine lovers the world over.
Edenvale’s alcohol removed winemaking process
Our wines are produced using the most sophisticated and efficient methods of alcohol extraction, including the use of the Spinning Cone Column which has been customised for Edenvale production. The customised Spinning Cone Column removes the alcohol from the base wine through a process of evaporation, whilst being careful to protect the delicate aromas and varietal integrity. The wine is refined, purified and then goes through a blending process to return flavour, aroma, volume and sweetness, creating an exceptional wine that is less than 0.5% alcohol by volume, and rich in antioxidants and vitamins.
Interested in the finer details? Read more about our delicate alcohol extraction process here…