The Role of Racking in the Wine Production Process
Because visually brilliant wines are what the majority of the market demands, most wines go through some kind of clarification process. Harmful organism and other solids are also removed that can lead to spoilage.
Racking can be quite time consuming, but many of the best wines are clarified primarily through racking. This is because racking is the least invasive to the wine’s character. Many winemakers believe that the rough application of other clarification processes will dilute their wine’s flavor and aroma profiles.
When using large tanks, the winemaker places the transfer hose above the sediment. He/she must pay careful attention to make sure no sediment is included. Wines that undergo fermentation in small oak barrels are also racked from the remaining yeast cells, known as the “lees,” before bottling. The process is very similar to decanting wine, but on a larger scale.
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