Exploring the vast world of wine: from grape to glass


The fascinating world of wine brings together science, art and passion to create a unique sensory experience.

In this article, we delve into the secrets of the grape – from its definition to its transformation into delicious bottles of wine – and explore its phenological stages, ripening phase, the vessels used in winemaking and wine ageing, and the magical nature of must and its extraction.

The Grape: more than a fruit – a viticultural treasure

The grape, noble fruit of the grapevine (Vitis vinifera), is the cornerstone of the winemaking industry. Originating in the Caucasus and Middle East, this fruit has been cultivated and venerated for centuries for its versatility and unique properties. Grapes come in a dazzling array of colours, shapes and flavours: each contributing to the huge range of wines that delight tastebuds all over the world.

A grape’s composition is a delicate balance of water, sugar, acid, tannins and aromatic compounds that influence the quality and character of the wine it produces.

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Phenological stages and grape ripening: the dance of the seasons

The lifecycle of the grapevine consists of several phenological stages, from budburst in spring to berry ripening in autumn. These stages, which include flowering, fruit set, veraison and harvest, are crucial to determining the right time to pick the grapes and ensuring the quality of the fruit.

The grape-ripening stage is a critical period, during which sugar levels increase, acid levels decrease and tannins develop.

Winemakers, using their knowledge and experience, closely monitor the progress of the grapes, evaluating factors like sugar content (Brix), pH and acidity to identify the perfect time to harvest the crop.

Vessels used in winemaking and wine ageing: the art of transformation

Once the grapes are harvested, they are brought to the winery to begin their transformation into wine. Here, a variety of vessels play an important role in making and ageing the wine, each bringing its unique properties to bear on the end product.

From classic oak barrels to modern stainless-steel tanks, the vessels used in the winemaking process play a crucial role in extracting flavour and stabilising and fermenting the wine. Meanwhile, the vessels used in the ageing process, such as oak barrels, clay amphorae and concrete casks, add complexity and character to the wine as it ages.

Must and its extraction from the grape

The winemaking process begins with a fascinating metamorphosis: the transformation of grapes into must, the sweet and aromatic juice that will be fermented to create wine. This is the moment when the grapes come into contact with yeasts, the magical microorganisms that set in motion the alchemy that produces wine.

After the grapes are harvested, they are pressed to release their precious juice. Called must, this liquid contains a unique mix of sugars, acids and aromatic compounds. It is at this stage that yeasts come into play, converting the must sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide in a process called fermentation.

Yeasts play a crucial role in wine production, not only for their ability to produce alcohol but also for their effect on the aromatic profile and character of the resulting wine. Depending on the strain of yeast used and the fermentation conditions, the process can produce a huge range of wine styles, from fresh and fruity to complex and structured.

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