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Winemaking, or vinification, is the process of wine production, from the selection of grapes to the bottling of finished wine. Wine production can be generally classified into two categories: still wine production (without carbonation) and sparkling wine production (with carbonation). The science of wine and winemaking is known as oenology.

After the harvest, the grapes are crushed and allowed to ferment. Red wine is made from the must (pulp) of red or black grapes that undergo fermentation together with the grape skins, while white wine is usually made by fermenting juice pressed from white grapes, but can also be made from must extracted from red grapes with minimal contact with the grapes’ skins. Rosé wines are made from red grapes where the juice is allowed to stay in contact with the dark skins long enough to pick up a pinkish color, but little of the tannins contained in the skins.

The quality of a wine is determined by the quality of the grapes. Their quality is not only affected by their variety, but also by the weather during the growing season, the soil, the time of harvest, and the way they are pruned. The combination of these effects is often referred to as their terroir. The most common species of wine grape is Vitis vinifera, which includes nearly all varieties of European origin.

The grapes are usually harvested from the vineyard in the autumn (fall), in the northern hemisphere from early September until the beginning of November, or the middle of February until the beginning of March in the southern hemisphere.

Harvest is the picking of the grapes and in many ways the first step in wine production. Grapes are either harvested mechanically or by hand. The decision to harvest grapes is typically made by the winemaker and informed by the level of sugar (called °Brix), acid (TA or Titratable Acidity as expressed by tartaric acid equivalents) and pH of the grapes, as well as berry flavor, tannin development and overall disposition of the grapevine and weather forecasts. °Brix is a measure of the soluble solids in the grape juice and represents not only the sugars but also acids and to a lesser degree esters, terpenes and tannins. The level of sugar in the grapes is important not only because it will determine the final alcohol content of the wine, but also because it is an indirect index of grape maturity.

courtesy, the Wikipedia

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