Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Please explain the benefits of "cold" fermentation.
—David S., Marina Del Rey, Calif.
One of the byproducts of fermentation is heat. Too high of a temperature, and the yeasts can die, the fermentation can get stuck, and the flavors can start to taste burnt or cooked. There are also unwanted microorganisms that thrive in warmer temperatures. A warm fermentation can also mean a rapid fermentation, and a rapid fermentation can mean loss of aromas. Many winemakers also believe a cold fermentation enhances colors and preserves a wine's fruit characteristics.
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