Top 5 Winemaking Tips
Despite the fact that Greece is a country with tradition in vineyards and wine, few are the ones who manage to ensure quality products. There are many secrets, small and big, that the producer must know before the harvest.
We are approaching the vintage season and the preparation for wine production has already begun, with the cleaning of the barrels or the supply of new ones, as well as the continuous monitoring of the vineyard in order to avoid last minute problems.
It all starts from whether the year is good. And good year means that the grapes to be used should not be “hit” by machines, birds, wasps, hail. These should be removed, and grapes that are “burnt” from the sun or from plant protection substances such as sulphur, or have mildew, acidic rot, and grape must not be intended for wine.
For a good production we need to use grapes ripe, balanced in sugars and acids, which are not affected by fungi and insects and which we cultivate according to the variety and the region.
Logically the winemaking process begins in September. However, there are many factors to consider (prolonged drought July and August, rainfall, downy mildew, etc.), which determine the quality of the must.
If we have high-acid and low-sugar musts, experts suggest:
– Adding ready-made must (sergeti – petimezi), 3 pounds per 100 kg of grapes. The addition is done after the fermentation begins and not towards the end.
– Add a protective substance (metabisulfite or sulphite or preservative) so as not to squeeze the tsipouro, in quantities of 8-10 grams per 100 kilograms of grapes, while pressing or, otherwise, at the end of the fermentation.
– Decreasing the acidity of the must from late varieties, such as xinomavro and musk-black, after consultation with an oenologist.
– If the fermentation does not start in consultation with the oenologist, it is necessary to “vaccinate” the yeast straw.
If we have high-sugar and low acidity must, experts suggest:
– In the main mass add “weak” grapes, in order to reduce the overall quality of sugars. It is advisable not to use water for this purpose.
– Adding a protective substance, such as grapes with low sugars and high acidity.
– Increase in acidity, if necessary, in consultation with an oenologist.
– Vaccination with yeast if fermentation is delayed.
For all this, the winemaker will need to make frequent analyses of the must in order to make the necessary corrections in cooperation with an oenologist.
The secrets for good white wines
1. Wine the very aromatic varieties, such as beef, malangia and muscovite.
2. The other varieties can be vinified together, as long as they have a common maturity.
3. After the grapes are selected, the de-scraping, pressing and then the mass is transferred to the press.
4. During the pressing process, add 50-60 grams of sulphuric acid per tonne.
5. In the press we add enzymes to quickly separate the mud.
6. We monitor the evolution of fermentation by daily temperature measurement. Fermentation takes about 7-10 days.
7. We seek to keep the temperature above 20 degrees Celsius, with external wetting of the tanks.
8. After the fermentation ends the wine is transfused into tanks or barrels.
9. We always make good unloading of barrels, because the biggest enemy of the wine is the air.
Wine is not a product that one can easily produce with success. The secrets for this are many and vary from area to production and variety in variety.