Fermentation and aging are the important and crucial steps of wine making. These two processes are very essential to get an aromatic and pleasant wine. Some people have the misconception that both are same, but they are not. These two processes had made wine making an art and the one of the most blemishing drinks in the world.
Let us see the two processes in detail
Fermentation: Fermentation is the process which is done prior to all the other things. This step involves selection of fine quality grapes. This process is often done in steel or wooden containers. Any ways the usage of these containers does not affect the wine. In this process the grapes are crushed and the juice extracted from them is joined by another ingredients like yeast and sugar. The yeast then converts the natural sugar contained in the grapes in to ethanol and cardondioxide. The carbon dioxide is then released from the wine mixture in to the air leaving the alcohol. If the alcohol percentage reaches 15% in the grape juice, it indicates that the fermentation process is done. Then the yeast and the other fermenting materials are removed from the juice to stop fermentation. The temperature during the whole process will be maintained at 70-90 degrees above which the wine gets destroyed. This is called first phase of fermentation, which takes 5-10 days. The second stage involves shifting of this prepared juice in to an air tight container, where some more ingredients are added to make it perfect.
Aging: Aging of wine is generally done in wooden barrels which are made of wood. The impact of these barrels is more on wine where it imparts some special flavors in to the wine. These days some other steel and cement barrels are also in use, in which this oak wood chips or wood powder are added to get that special oaky flavor to the wine. This aging is done for several months and years depending upon the wine makers requirement. Much care is taken in proper storage of these barrels. After aging is done they are transferred to bottles. Even after bottling the wine, some kinds require some more period, but most of the wine we are using now a days is consumed at an younger age. Most of the inexpensive types should be consumed with in an year and some particular kinds need some more aging to get more softer and pleasant.
When these two processes are properly done, then only a wine maker can expect a wonderful wine out of his winery. A little carelessness will spoil all the wine at one shot.