White wine can be made from either white grapes or red grapes. There are instances where the vines are actually colored, these varieties are called teinturiers. The grapes are taken from the vines and immediately to the press. They are not previously crushed. The juice alone is left to ferment. The next step is the introduction of sulphites, the sulphuric acid that is added to arrest the fermentation. The mixture is then aired, and the sulphuric acid dissipates, then the fermentation begins again. In this way, the fermentation process is slowed. The wine is taken out of the vats and poured into the barrels.
Fermentation is the continuing process. As the liquid evaporates, the barrels are resupplied, making sure that the barrels stay full at all times. This drawing off process is a ritual part of the process. The first taking place from two to four weeks after the grapes have been released from the vats into the barrels. Then, it is generally done again in January, or later, in March or April, depending on the climate of the region in which the vineyards are located.
Yeasts introduced to the barrels fermentation process are less and less active as the fermenting is underway, they play a vital role in producing the taste and character that the wine will exude. Air is detrimental to this effect. The wine is then filtered and clarified before being released for consumption.
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