Chapter 5 - UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS School of...

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UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management SMHM 4300 Survey of Beverages Spring 2006 (5) CLASS NOTES: How Wines Are Made To predict a harvest day, the grape grower begins taking readings of sugar levels and acidity levels. To these technical readings the growers must also use their judgment to determine the point of ripeness of the fruit for the wine the want to make. So that Merlot grapes taste likes Merlot fruit, etc. Furthermore for red wine grapes tannin development is crucial. You cannot pick red wine grapes by sugar level alone you may have unresolved tannins that were unripe thus toppling the balance we need to achieve the desired wine. In North America, the Brix scale expresses the sugar content of the grape as a percent of the liquids total weight. In the English speaking world we refer to the harvesting of grapes as a the vintage- a French word which means, wine harvest. It means that when we say a wine is a 2002 vintage all the grapes used to make it were harvested in 2002. Be aware that not all wines are made from a single harvest. The wines that do not have a vintage date are known as non-vintage (NV) wine and are usually a blend from different years of harvest. There are four major influences on the final wine product: (a) The grape variety (b) The climate in the vineyard (c) The soil in the vineyard (d) The skills of the winemaker and the agricultural practices of the wine grower. Once harvested the grapes are taken to the pressing or the crushing stages, this depends on whether they are being made into red or white wines. The finest wines are made from the first pressing of juice from the
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grapes called the free run, while less expensive wines are made from the second and third pressings, called the press wine. What is left after all the juice has been pressed from the grapes is pomace (the mass of skins and pips), and yeast, that can be used as a fertilizer fort he soil of the vineyards. In some countries, Italy for example, the pomace is distilled to make Grappa which we cover under distilled spirits. Chaptalization: In some cooler climates (Germany), weather patterns cause sugar levels lowered than desired to be found in the mature grapes. This means the wine will not achieve the desired alcohol level. In some countries such as France and Germany, it is permissible to add regular beet or cane sugar to the must just before or during fermentation. This sugar addition is known as chaptalization it is intended to promote a higher level of alcohol in the wine. It is not intended to produce sweet wines. This practice is forbidden in Italy, Spain, Australia, California and other countries/regions. Some countries like Italy, allows for dried grapes to be added to the fermented liquid during fermentation. This practice is known as the
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course SMHM 4300 taught by Professor Katsigris during the Spring '08 term at North Texas.

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Chapter 5 - UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS School of...

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