Who doesn’t love wines? Specially red wines hold an important place in every serious wine lover’s heart. But little do we know what goes into making these beauties. Have you ever wondered from where does the red wine gets its beautiful hues? Of course, it is the grape, but did you know that even white wines can be made from red grapes? Here in this blog, we are going to talk about the first step in winemaking, i,e, obtaining the ‘wine must’ which lends your drink its beautiful colours and flavours.
What is must?
Extraction of the must is the first step of winemaking. After the grapes are harvested they usually go through a Destemmer where the stems of the grapes are removed. They are then gently pressed and the resultant substance is a combination of grape juice, grape skin and the seeds. This mixture is what we call must which is then fermented to make wine.
However, in some cases, the must may also include grape stems. It is a wine maker’s choice if he wants to keep the stems or not. In this case, the wines do not go through the destemmer, rather whole bunch of grapes are pressed and fermented. This method is known as whole bunch pressing.
Before proceeding, here’s an eye-opening fact for you. The colour of a red wine is extracted from grape skin and if we remove the same from must, it would result in a white wine. Pinot Noir, a red varietal is used in the world famous white sparkling wine – Champagne.
Whole Cluster Pressing
As the name suggests, in this process whole clusters or bunches of grapes are pressed and fermented. Thus, the must now consists of grape stems that are rich in tannins. A winemaker may also choose to employ a combination of whole cluster and destemmed grapes or he can also go with 100% whole cluster pressing. If the grape stem is young and green, it would add vegetal, green and herbal notes to the wine while ripe stems bring more mellow and spicy flavours with it.
Click here to explore some amazing facts about the winemaking process of red wines.