Have you ever wondered how a grape ends up becoming a glass of wine? This drink undergoes a detailed and meticulous process to achieve the perfect flavor, smell and color that delights the most demanding palates. Next, we will delve into the winemaking process, stopping at our central theme: its clarification.
First we will define what wine clarification refers to:
It is a treatment in which purity is given to the wine, in addition to helping to obtain its physical, chemical and microbiological stability.
Now, for the elaboration of the wine, the following steps are followed: Harvest, destemming, crushing, maceration and fermentation, pressing, malolactic fermentation, aging, racking, clarification and bottling. In this case we will focus more specifically on the malolactic fermentation step.
As previously defined, clarification helps to make the wine cleaner and purer, in this sense, a substance is added to the wine that causes all those solid elements such as yeasts and bacteria that are suspended to drag to the bottom, This action prevents this drink from suffering alterations that cannot be modified later, in addition, it prevents the wine from becoming cloudy or losing transparency.
Modifications in the wine can cause problems in taste and smell, such as acidity, bitterness or astringency, which is when the wine feels dry on the palate and even rough when you drink it.
Now, it was mentioned that importance would be given to the malolactic fermentation process, since it is precisely during this process that the wine appears cloudy and with solid elements that are present due to the nature of the process, which is why after concluding this step, clarification is done.
It should be noted that while the wine is static, the solid matter may begin to fall to the bottom of the container or the tank where it is located, although this type of spontaneous clarification takes longer, since it is necessary to wait until the wine is not moving and then take care that no solid element remains when the racking is done, which is when the wine is changed from container.
Wine clarification with egg white can also be used, what is done in this case is to add one egg white per hundred liters of wine; what happens is that it drags all the impurities in the wine, achieving the cleanliness that is sought. In this sense, winemakers can also use milk albumin to carry out this process. This clarifying agent is mostly used in white and rosé wines, while egg white is used in red wines.
Clarifying agents of animal origin such as gelatin and fish glue can also be used, or vegetable fining agents such as pea, potato or algae proteins, and even mineral clarifying agents such as bentonites.
The process is simple, the winemaker dilutes the amount of clarifying agent, which is taken to the tank where the wine is, it is mixed and later it is necessary to wait for the solids to fall to the bottom, once this happens, the clean wine and proceed to bottle it; In this sense, it is important to mention that the fining agent does not improve the quality of the wine or modify its flavour.
What do you think about this?Have you found any wine that has not been clarified correctly? For this and other topics about wine, its elaboration or even to know the most important festivals that take place around this drink, we invite you to subscribe to our newsletter.