The connoisseurs of wines all over the world prefer hand crafted wine over the ones prepared by machine. No matter if it is spanish wines or french wines we are talking, nothing can beat the wine made in the traditional manner, following religiously all the intricate methods which make for the best of tastes.
The process starts right from harvesting the grapes. Harvesting by machines often leaves the chance of contaminants and leaves getting mixed with fruit before they are prepared for crushing. The grapes also run the risk of getting bruised in this manner. On the other hand, picking grapes by hand ensures that all the leaves and twigs are separated from the fruits and they do not contain no bruising.
Once the grapes have been selected, now is the time to pitch the yeast. The wine producer will have a rather busy next 2 weeks after pitching the yeast. This is the time when the 'must' needs to be punched down as many as three times each day. This is also the time that the producer will mix his secret ingredients to enhance the taste of the wine and give his brand that special and unique flavour. One must remember that when a brand is advertised as hand crafted, it means the wine has been produced following all the traditional procedures. These are gourmet stuff and are also naturally more expensive than the machine made run of the mill products.
Pressing the wine
Once the yeast has finished its job, it is now time to press the must into the barrels. Winemakers use both used or neutral barrels as well as new barrels for this task. Some makers will only use either new or used barrels, while others will press their wine into both kinds of barrels. Oak and pinewood are the most common materials for these barrels. Used barrels are transported from different wineries. More discerned winemakers also import the barrels from special winemaking farms from other countries.
The process of 'racking' the wines is also very important for preparation of fine and delicious wines. The wine is aged in the barrels for two years. During this period, frequent racking ensures that the sediments are separated from the must and only the pure and raw wine gets bottled at the end of the process. Some makers do not go for the hazards of racking which involve shifting the must from one barrel to another and after washing the original barrel off the sediments, pouring the must back into the same barrel. An alternative to racking is filtration of the wine and many makers choose for this since this takes less time and is easier to perform. However, makers of gourmet wines hold that the filtration removes the very soul of the wine and therefore, stick to the traditional method of racking.
Once the wine has sufficiently aged, then comes the time of bottling them and let them age some more with the bottles stored at a specific angle. So, next time you chuckle at the goodness of a wine as it wets your pallet, remember that it is this toilsome process which is responsible for that delectable taste.