Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. -Benjamin Franklin
Gone are the days where we squashed grapes with our feet. With a few updates to the process, though, winemaking is still just as much of an art as it ever was. From the harvesting to the bottling, there are many steps involved to bring your favorite vino from the vine to the glass. Seven Springs Winery is proud to make the best Missouri wine, and today we'd like to share a little bit about the process of winemaking.
Harvesting is one of the first steps to making wine. It's also a very important part of the process, because if it's done too early, or incorrectly, it can damage the grapes or alter the flavor. The moment the grapes are picked determines the acidity, sweetness, and flavor of the wine. While you want to harvest at the perfect time, weather can also play a huge factor in when the grapes will be harvested. Some wineries harvest by hand, and some harvest mechanically, while the difference is based on preference, mechanical harvest can be harder on the grapes.
Once the grapes have been harvested, they are de-stemmed and crushed. Thankfully, we don't stomp them by foot anymore, and mechanical pressing improved the sanitation and also increased the longevity of the wine. Mechanical presses stomp the grapes into what is called a "must," which means that you have freshly pressed grape juice that still contains the seeds, skins, and other solids. For white wine, the grapes must be crushed quickly and then the juice and solids must be separated quickly. This prevents unwanted colors and tannins from going into the wine. Red wine, however, tastes best when it's left in contact with the skins. This helps it to acquire flavor, color, and more tannins.
Fermentation is the third step in the process, and can take anywhere from 10 days to one month or more. While the process will happen naturally within 6-12 hours, many wineries help it along with a cultured yeast. This will help to achieve consistency as well as assist in predicting the end result. Fermentation will happen until all of the sugars have been converted into alcohol, which will produce a dry wine. If we're trying to achieve a sweet wine, the process can be stopped before all of the sugar is converted.
Clarification is the process where the solids (such as dead yeast cells, tannins, and proteins) are removed from the wine. After that, the wine is transferred or "racked" into a different vessel, like an oak barrel or stainless steel tank. Then the wine will bed clarified through fining or filtration. Fining is when substances are added to the wine to clarify it. Some winemakers may add a substance like clay, and the unwanted particles will adhere to. Filtration occurs by using a filter to capture the large particles in the wine. After the wine has been clarified, it is racked into another vessel and prepared for bottling or aging.
Aging and Bottling
This is the final step of winemaking. Wine can either be bottled immediately, or stored in stainless steel tanks or oak barrels for aging. When aged in an oak barrel, the wine will gain a smoother, rounder and more vanilla flavor. It will also be exposed to more oxygen while it ages, and that will decrease the tannins, helping the wine to achieve fruitiness. Steel tanks are commonly used when a zesty white wine is being created. Once the wine has been aged, the wine is bottled with either a cork or a screw cap.
Winemaking is a fascinating and intricate process. We're proud to bring you delicious wine, and a great place that you can enjoy it. Our winery has been around for seven years, and we're nestled into the Ozark hills. Whether you want to plan a winery wedding at the Lake of the Ozarks, or come out and enjoy a nice evening with music and good wine, our venue is ideal.
Come for the wine...Stay for the atmosphere...Remember the view!
Seven Springs is the finest Winery at the Lake of the Ozarks with a full-service facility perfect for outdoor weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, corporate events and parties. Call us today to make reservations for your special event!
Seven Springs Winery
846 Winery Hills Estates
Linn Creek, MO 65052