Destemming and Crushing Red Grapes
The Process of Destemming and Crushing Grapes for Red Wine
In red wine production, the process of destemming and crushing is usually more forceful than in white wine production. This extracts more pigments and tannins from the grape skins and allows the must to macerate.
Sometimes the winemaker will leave some stems in the must intentionally if the grapes do not contain enough tannins. But this is not always the best strategy, as it can give the wine undesirable green flavors.
The winemaker can also simply destem the grapes and avoid breaking as many of the skins as possible. This is called whole berry fermentation.
Although whole berry fermentation is usually used in white wine production, it may be used for light bodied red as well. The grapes are agitated as little as possible to prevent the skins from breaking and macerating in the must.
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