The Winemaking Process
If you ever get the chance to tour one of the Trinchero Family vineyards, we can assure you, you won't be sorry you did! Winemaking is a fascinating, informative and delicious process to behold. But, if a trip to California isn't on your radar, you can still benefit from learning how your favorite wine goes from grape to glass.
The first step in the winemaking process is raising and harvesting the grapes. Taking advantage of a region and climate most suited to a particular varietal is key. Trinchero Family vineyards span the state of California, capturing the state's varied climates and soil structures along with them. For our Australian wines, experienced winemakers from the Angove Family Winery use innovative irrigation and harvesting techniques to develop some of the most flavorful varietals in the world, all while keeping the New World tastes close to mind.
After they are picked, grapes are crushed and de-stemmed. White wines are pressed immediately into juice, while the skins and seeds are discarded. Reds, on the other hand, will be left with their skins and seeds for a number of days, weeks, or even throughout fermentation, depending on the varietal and the winemaker. Leaving the red grapes in the skin not only gives the wine a rich color, it also utilizes the grape's natural tannins to give the wine structure and astringency.
Next comes the fermentation process. Fermentation is the transformation of grape sugar into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide, set off by the addition of yeast. Thus, what was previously only grape juice becomes wine. The initial fermentation process usually takes one to two months in which temperatures are closely monitored to contain evaporation and retain alcohol content and flavors. A malolactic fermentation often follows, which transforms malic acid into lactic acid and carbon dioxide, decreasing the wine's tartness and creating some of the buttery aromas you may associate with wine.
After fermentation, the wines are then emptied into barrels for aging. The type of barrel used, the length of the aging process, and the additional ingredients added during this stage are all big reasons why different wines from the same grape can have such diverse flavors.
Once the wine is sufficiently aged, it is ready for the bottle. Sometimes, wines are kept to settle in the bottles before they are distributed for sale, but often, the aging is already complete when the wine enters its vessel. At this point, there is only one step remaining: pouring yourself a glass to enjoy!