Malolactic Fermentation

by Staff Writer - C. Barnett | January 03, 2012

Malolactic Fermentation is a secondary fermentation process. It is the process of changing the tart malic acid in wine to a softer, more subtle lactic acid. The process can give the wine a buttery or creamy flavor.

In the secondary fermentation process of Malolactic Fermentation, the lactic acid changes the wine to convert the harsh acids into the softer lactic acid. Malolactic Fermentation can happen naturally during the fermentation process, but winemakers must decide the course they will take depending on the results they are hoping for and whether they want to add the components manually. Malolactic Fermentation is desirable in wines which have excessive acidity, particularly red wines produced in cooler climates. This process effectively reduces the wine's overall natural acidity, and can then remove certain undesirable flavors. Malolactic Fermentation can also add flavor and complexity to both red and white wines.

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