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winemakingsparkling winesThere are four basic processes involved in the manufacture of sparkling wines. 1. Méthode Champenoise. 2. Transfer system. 3. Charmat. 4. Carbonation.
There are three general groups of grapes used to make sparkling wine: 1. Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc, Sultana and Trebbiano. These produce delicate fruit styles that require high acid. Generally they are early maturing wines that are not generally given any wood treatment in the base wine. 2. Pinot Noir and Ondenc. Naturally high in acid, richly flavoured with a neutral bouquet. Base wines are often aged in wood. Bottle maturation can be for three or more years . 3. Chardonnay and Semillon. High natural acid and a light perfumed bouquet. The base wines are sometimes given wood ageing and have a medium body.
1. Méthode Champenoise This is the traditional process for the making of champagne. Méthode Champenoise is an involved and labour intensive process which accounts for higher prices for these wines.
A base wine is made, from grapes that are high in acid and flavour with adequate sugar levels, in the same manner as for a dry white table wine. This base wine is then bottled and yeast and sugar is added to made to activate a secondary fermentation. This process takes between six months and many years depending on the quality and the style of wine being made. The bottles are continually turned (riddled) and stored throughout this period in a semi-inverted position to allow the lees (dead yeast cells) to settle in the neck of the bottle.
At the end of this fermentation the neck of the bottle is frozen and the frozen lees are removed (disgorged). Additions of liqueur, sweetener, brandy spirit or other are made and the bottles are re-corked and wired. The finished wines are then ready for cellaring or sale.
2. Transfer system This is very similar to the Méthode Champenoise except the wine's second fermentation takes place in upright bottles with crown seals. At the end of fermentation the crowns are pierced under pressure and the wine is transferred to bottles and corked.
The quality of wine from this process are no less than that produced via Méthode Champenoise. It is ultimately the quality of the grape, the winemaking and indeed the entire process that determines the final wine quality. The advantage of this system is that the end wine is more uniform in its quality and involves less labour through mechanisation. Wines produced by this method are less expensive to produce than those by Méthode Champenoise.
3. Charmat In this case secondary fermentation takes place in a large stainless steel pressure tank. At the end of fermentation the wine is transferred to the bottles under pressure and corked.The qualities of this wine are not as complex as that of the previous two processes due to less contact with the lees. The advantage is that the process can be more automated than the others and the wine is cheaper to produce. 4. Carbonation This is the method for making low-cost sparkling wines. It is a simple process where the wine is fermented to the desired style and then bottled and carbonated (addition of carbon dioxide).
white wine phases
1. Harvesting fruit and ensuring it is in optimum condition. 2. Fermenting the grapes into wine. 3. Clarification and stabilising the wine. 4. Ageing. Making white wine
1. After harvest grapes are removed from the bunch stem and gently pushed through rollers to split the berries and release the juice. 2. After the grapes have been through the crusher/destemmer, the must - a combination of juice, skins and seeds - is pumped to the press to separate the juice from the skins. 3. The juice is extracted at the press and cooled while the skins, stems and seeds are discarded. 4. The cold juice is allowed to settle and then clear juice is decanted off the residue before it is fermented. White wine is made by fermenting clarified juice. 5. Winemakers manage the fermentation by controlling parameters such as temperature and the pressing technique. Fermentation takes place in tanks, usually large stainless steel tanks. Cold stabilisation of a wine may also take place here. Tanks are fitted with a cooling jacket through which coolant is pumped to export heat from the ferment. Vats or barrels constructed from oak can also be used to ferment wine. Chardonnay is sometimes barrel fermented for part of the finished blend to add greater dimension and complexity. 6. Winemakers clarify wine by fining, racking and filtration. Wine is stabilized by removing excessive protein and potassium hydrogen tartrate. These materials must be removed to prevent them from precipitating out of the wine later. After this the wine will be stable and the winemaker can be reasonably confident the wine will remain clear and bright after bottling. 7. As the wine ages it develops "bouquet". Wine acids react with alcohols to produce volatile esters and during bulk storage oxidation slowly changes many wine ingredients. After the wine is bottled, oxygen is no longer available, and a different type of ageing begins to take place
red wine phases
1. Harvesting fruit and ensuring it is in optimum condition. 2. Fermenting the grapes into wine. 3. Clarification and stabilising the wine. 4. Ageing.
Making red wine
1. Red wine grapes have colourless juice. The red colour is in the grape skins and winemakers leave the juice in contact with the skins for a time to extract the colour. 2. After harvest grapes are removed from the bunch stem and gently pushed through rollers to split the berries and release the juice. 3. After the grapes have been through the crusher/destemmer the must, a combination of juice, skins and seeds is fermented for several days. Winemakers manage the fermentation by controlling parameters such as temperature and the pressing technique. Fermentation takes place in tanks, usually large stainless steel tanks. 4. The fermented must is then pumped to the press to separate the juice from the skins. 5. Winemakers clarify wine by fining, racking and filtration. Wine is stabilized by removing excessive protein and potassium hydrogen tartrate. These materials must be removed to prevent them from precipitating out of the wine later. 6. The wine is then aged. Red wine can then spend anything from a few weeks to a few years in either stainless steel or oak where it is racked and fined several times prior to bottling. As the wine ages it develops "bouquet". Wine acids react with alcohols to produce volatile esters and during bulk storage oxidation slowly changes many wine ingredients. After the wine is bottled, oxygen is no longer available, and a different type of ageing begins to take place. Some premium red wines can spend several additional years in bottle before being released
Wolf Blass has been producing some of Australia's very best wines for over 30 years, receiving over 3,000 awards at international wine shows since 1966. In 1992 Wolf Blass was awarded the Trophy for International Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition. In 2001, Wolf Blass was according the title of best Australian Producer at the same competition. Produced from fruit grown in vineyards across southeast Australia, Wolf Blass winemakers produce wines of outstanding quality, character and consistency every year. The white wines of Wolf Blass are full of fresh fruit flavours - the rieslings are Australia's most awarded wines produced from this variety, and the chardonnays are exemplary of the very best Australia has to offer. The red wines of Wolf Blass are renowned for their generous flavours. Wolf Blass' flagship, black Label is considered an Australian red wine icon and has received over 40 trophies at Australian and International wine shows since its inaugural vintage in 1973.
platinum shiraz 2001Wolf Blass Platinum Label is the ultimate expression of a vintage, variety and vineyard in the Wolf Blass Portfolio.
The first award Wolf Blass Black Label ever won was the Jimmy Watson Trophy, giving it a place in Australian history as one of the great Australian red wines.
Super Premium Wines of great character and consistency.
gold labelEmerging varieties, groundbreaking techniques, and the most progressive regional styles.
A range of classic wines of great character and distinction from South Australia.
premiumA range of predominantly blended wines from South Eastern Australia.
eaglehawkEaglehawk wines represent a range of excellent value for money wines that have kept Australian wine lovers happy since 1987.