During crush, why is it important to avoid breaking the grape seeds?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

During crush, why is it important to avoid breaking the grape seeds?

—Tammy T., Chile

Dear Tammy,

You’re right that many winemakers tend to avoid crushing or even including seeds during wine production. That’s because grape seeds can impart green, bitter flavors, and can be the source of overt tannins and even a sense of astringency in a wine if not managed. The next time you get a chance, chew on a seeded grape and see for yourself.

As grapes ripen, their seeds turn from green to brown and they become less bitter. Even so, there is plenty of tannin extraction from seeds if a winemaker wants it without having to break them and risk astringent, green notes.

—Dr. Vinny

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