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A Discussion of Options in The Winemaking Procedure – Part 1

January 12, 2010

Anthony posted this reference…

**Saignée – a method of rosé production that involves bleeding off the juice after limited contact with the skins. Pronounced ’sonyay’. In shory saignée is one of the methods of making rosé wines, along with blending white and red wine (this is the method used to for rosé Champagne), along with a simply macerating (allowing contact with skins to leech out color and flavor) the wine with the skins for a short period of time. The difference between simply macerating the wine and removing the must and saigneé is that the wine left after the bleed-off is oftentimes still being made into a more concentrated red wine, and the rosé is a byproduct, often sold cheap (or was until rosé prices started to rise).

Well that is a good description, but for us, the real importance is two fold, we are not really interested in making Rose Wine but sometimes we are faced with two conditions that could require us to employ this method. The first is wanting to add body to a Must and the eventual wine produced from that Must. Drawing off 5-15 percent of juice from the Must after crushing will have that effect. The juice drawn off will make a rose style wine, but the interest is to make the original Must better. The second use is if we have a very high brix must and it requires that water be added to reduce the amount of sugar. If we just add the water we are reducing the grams per liter of sugar but we are also diluting the character of the wine. The concept here is to draw off as much juice, as water that you intend to add back. This will keep the concentration of the wine intact and reduce the sugar. Of course you will have the drawn off juice to make a rose style wine.

The other option is Cold Soak. There are many reasons to Cold Soak the grapes before starting the fermentation. Color extraction, mouth feel, fruit, nose are a few qualities that can be enhanced by doing a cold soak. The key to doing it safely is temperature. Basically keep the must under 50 degrees and you should not have any problems. The use of enzymes may negate the need to do a cold soak and certain varietals may not benefit from doing it. The jury is out on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but Sangiovese, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir are usually improved.

Now, onto The Winemaking Procedure – Part 2

3 Comments leave one →
  1. AlbanyCellarRat permalink
    January 14, 2010 2:36 am

    The only drawback is you have to make a rose, yuk! What else could you do with this juice? Well, you could make a traditional Italian treat. My mom has done it almost every year since I was a kid. It is called “mustarda” Mostarda. (Basically made from the must)

    Here is a link:

    It doesn’t look that great, but when it is dried, I like it very dry, it is unbelievable. My father used to sneak bites whenever he could. Often he wouldn’t leave the rest of us with much. It is hard to resist.

    • Paul Gatti permalink
      January 14, 2010 3:32 am

      Sounds really good!But what about the seeds?

      • AlbanyCellarRat permalink
        January 14, 2010 4:02 am

        You make it with the juice alone. It should be strained.

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