Grapes are the largest fruit crop on earth. The grapevine prefers the temperate climate in which it evolved, with warm, dry summers and mild winters. Winters of sustained cold kill grapevines. High humidity promotes vine disease. In addition to providing us with conventional antioxidant nutrient like vitamin C and manganese, grapes are filled with antioxidant phytonutrients that range from common carotenoids like beta-carotene to unusual stilbenes like resveratrol, and the total number of different antioxidant nutrients in grapes runs well into.
There are grapes native to Europe, Asia, and North America. Most Wine grapes would come from European/ Middle Eastern species. Others are for eating or juicing. Most grapevines give you fruit in their third season.
Your backyard grapevine can take up to three years to produce viable grapes, but that timeline is based on several environmental factors as well as how you care for the plant. Sunlight and well-drained soil are key to grape production, as is proper pruning.
In Winemaking or vinification, they start with selection of the grapes or other produce and ending with bottling the finished wine. Although most wine is made from grapes, it may also be made from other fruits or plants.
A winemaker or vintner is a person engaged in wine making. They are generally employed by wineries or wine companies, where their work includes: Cooperating with viticulturists. Monitoring the maturity of grapes to ensure their quality and to determine the correct time for harvest. Wine grapes are grown outdoors, in a warm, sheltered, sunny site, such as a south- or southwest-facing wall or fence. Grapevines grow on any soil, providing it is well drained. When planting a row of vines, a south-facing slope is desirable with the rows running north to south.
How to grow grapes for wine?
The Harvest Process
During harvest wine makers walk through vineyards to know the grapes are starting to get close to ripeness. They will know that they are already delicious by that point but are not ready to be picked. They walk through a vineyard with a baggie and pick a random sample of the grapes, one berry at a time, until they have half a baggie full of grapes. In the meantime, as many grapes they put in the baggie, They eat to taste how ripe the grapes are. On any given day during harvest they eat hundreds of grapes. At the winery, They squeeze the baggies of grapes and analyze the juice to see what the numbers say about the acidity and sweetness. They use those numbers as guidelines and when they are in the range of the numbers they want, they spend the last few days in the vineyard just tasting grapes. When they taste right, it's time to pick them. They pick the grapes on the day they feel they are ready. With white grapes, the first thing they do is get rid of the stems with a machine and then squeeze the grapes. They take just the white grape juice and it goes into either a tank or to a barrel.
They add yeast and start fermenting it. With red grapes, again they take the stems away and this time they pump the grapes, skins and all into a tank. The juice of red grapes like Cabernet, Zinfandels and Pinot Noirs, is clear as water so they let the juice steep with the skins. With red grapes, it's the skins that have all the color and flavor. So the skins and juice steep together and then they add yeast to that and it ferments. When it's done fermenting, they drain the wine out of the tank and squeeze the grapes to get the last little bit of wine out. The harvest is pretty much over at that point.
There are a lot of little details in there but that's basically what they do.
Harvesting To Bottling
After harvest, once the wines ferment, the whites are either in stainless steel tanks or in barrels. The wine that's made in tanks ages for three to five months and then it gets bottled. After fermentation, the white that is in barrels, which is mostly chardonnay, gets aged from about seven to ten months before it is bottled. The red wines, right after fermentation, go into barrels. If it is a light red, like a Pinot Noir, it might get bottled as soon as just before the next harvest. If it's a bigger, heavier wine like Cabernet it stays in the barrel for about two years. Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon are two of the world's most popular grapes. While Pinot Noir is an elegant, thin wine that requires a delicate palette to appreciate its finesse, Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful and bold, giving a punch in every sip.
1 ton of grapes yields about 60 cases or 720 bottles. If you put all that together, a very low-yielding vineyard.
According to the wine makers,People often think wine makers have a better palate than most. The difference is wine makers' palates have what they call 'palate memory'. Meaning, It doesn't mean they can taste any better than anyone else but because they've been making wine for so many years and tasting it at all stages, their palate remembers what a wine will taste like in a month, two years or eight years if it tastes like this now. They've got this file cabinet in their brain so that when they taste something,They can know what's going to happen with this range of flavors, aromas and everything else. Their actual tasting ability is no better than anyone else's. They just have a lot of information that's attached to their palate compared to an average wine drinker. Winemakers will earn average salary of $95,263 this year, according to a salary survey of the wine industry conducted by Wine business. More senior winemakers (who supervised other winemakers) will earn an average of $121,774.
Going on winery tours is a great way to learn about wine and wine making in an interactive atmosphere. You'll see and hear a lot of things that will give you a basic feel of how it's done, especially if you visit during harvest.
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