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Wine Spectator School

Class 9: Winegrowing and Winemaking

winemaking: refining



Gently squeezing the grapes, separates the juice from the skins, seeds and, if the grapes have not been destemmed, the stems.

The goal is to release as much juice as possible without mashing the seeds, which can add bitter flavors to wine.


White Wines
Before pressing, the grapes frequently break open under their own weight. For white wines, the high, quality juice released at this stage, called "free-run," is often used to make top wines.

White grapes are pressed before fermentation.

Red Wines
Because red grape skins give red wines their color, skin contact with the juice is necessary. Only after fermentation is red wine pressed off the pulpy mixture of juice, skins and seeds called "must."

Longer maceration results in darker colors and more extract in...

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