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.
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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