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Angela Chapman
 
March 4, 2019 | Angela Chapman

What Are We Waiting For?

There is a chill in the air and fall is here. The grape harvest is over, and the fruits of our labor have been fermented and are… well they're not doing very much. Or are they? 
 
Currently, our 2017 harvest has been turned into wine and are enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation in the form of aging. 
 
 
The reds are in oak barrels 
 
 
and the whites are in stainless steel tanks. 
 
 
 
But why can’t we drink them now and what’s the purpose of aging wine? 
 
 
To answer this, we will have to look at the wine making process. After the grapes are pressed, yeast is added, and fermentation happens. Fermentation is a chemical reaction where in the yeast turns the sugar in the grapes into Co2, heat, and alcohol. Simply put, it is no longer grape juice and that chemical reaction has left the newly made wine a bit unstable and unsure of itself. It lacks complexity, body, and character. 
 
Un-aged wines can come off as sharp and one dimensional. It is perfectly drinkable at this stage in its life but if bottled right then it would decline in quality quickly. Aging the wine allows for the flavor and aromas to develop and set into place making for a more enjoyable wine that will last longer. 
 
Waiting around for wine to age isn’t very much fun, but it’s worth it.
 
 
 
- Written by Angela Chapman, WSET III

Edited by fellow wino Mariam Copeland

 

 

 

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