Maceration

by Staff Writer - C. Barnett | January 29, 2012

Maceration is part of the wine making process. It is the time during which the grapes are left in the vat and are left in contact with the grape skins, seeds and stems. Maceration can increase the wine’s aroma, color depth and tannin levels.

The length of the Maceration process depends on the aroma, level of tannins and depth of wine color that the winemaker is expecting in the final wine. This prolonged contact may occur before or after fermentation (the process in winemaking in which the sugar in the grape is turned into alcohol and unfermented grape juice is turned into wine). Temperature is a key element during the Maceration process. Cooling techniques are used to keep the vats at the correct temperature. When the right amount of color and flavor have been achieved, the skins are removed from the mixture.

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