Five Factors That Affect Wine Quality
Knowledge is power in all aspects of life, and this includes winemaking. Before you venture into making any type of wine, you should understand factors that can affect the outcome of your efforts. When you take time to learn at least some of the influencing factors, you increase your chance of success with the flavour, clarity and overall quality of your batch of wine. To start your education on this matter, we offer five factors that affect wine quality in the following details.
1. Ripeness Level of Grapes
How ripe the grapes are will affect their sweetness and acidity level. The further in the growing process that the grapes are harvested the higher the sweetness, but the lower the acidity level. In some cases, you will need to artificially acidify your wine when you use these grapes to ensure the right flavour.
2. Cold Soaking
Cold soaking allows the grape skins to stay in contact with the must without encouraging fermentation and happens prior to alcohol developing in the wine. Also, cold soaking encourages rich colour development as well as the ideal fruitiness for the intended wine without any bitter tannins. Maceration time is the length of time that the grape skins stay with the must.
3. Fermentation Temperatures
Another thing that influences the colour and flavour of wine is the fermentation temperature. Colder fermentation temperatures of no higher than 50-degrees C are ideal for rosé and white wines while hotter fermentation temperatures of between 80-degrees to 100-degrees C are suitable for red wines. Since each type of wine needs a different rate of yeast metabolisation and alcohol production, it is important to use the right fermentation temperature for your intended wine batch for favourable results.
4. Type of Aging Containers
Today, there are different types of containers available for aging your wine in than just the traditional oak barrels. Of course, you can still choose to use these or you can select acacia ones or even steel tanks. While the oak and acacia impart their own unique characteristics to the wine by allowing a certain amount of oxygen into it, the steel tanks severely limit the wine’s exposure to oxygen and are ideal for zesty white wines for this reason. You also can add oak alternatives to steel tanks to reap the best of both methods.
5. Capping Method
Which type of cap that you seal the wine bottle with also has affects wine quality. Examples of this include natural corks that compress into the wine bottle with ease to form a tight seal but allow air to interact with the wine during the aging process or screw caps that prevent air from entering into the wine. The drawback to natural corks is the fact that you can get a bad batch that can cause cork taint. This imparts a mouldy aroma to your wine. With the screw caps, you have an increased risk of sulfides creating unpleasant aromas since they due limit the oxygen interaction with the wine.
For further details about these fine factors that affect wine quality, consult with Grapeworks Consumables. Our company is a reliable source for a wide assortment of winemaking supplies, equipment and machinery.