Whole Cluster Pressing
The use of Whole Cluster Pressing in White Production
Many of the best white wines from California are made using whole cluster pressing. Entire grape bunches are pressed very gently to extract the juice. This minimizes the amount of harsh malic acid and astringent tannins that naturally exist in the skins, seeds and stems.
Occasionally, white grapes are not pressed immediately if the winemaker wants to extract additional flavors. This is most common with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and usually occurs for less than 8 hours at low temperatures. Grapes must be clean of bacteria and mildew to allow contact with the skins successfully.
The majority of white grape must is not macerated and is fermented without skin contact. On the other hand, most red wines are macerated and fermented with skin contact to impart pigments and tannins into the finished product.
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