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The Five Stages of Winemaking

William Deyesso

An accomplished leader in the insurance and real estate development industries, William Deyesso has held positions such as CEO and executive vice president. Now retired from the business world, William Deyesso has an interest in winemaking.

If you make wine, you must follow five basic steps, which are briefly discussed below:
1. Harvesting. The first step of making wine is harvesting the grapes. Pick the grapes when they have a good balance of sweetness and acidity. Picking grapes too early or too late will result in a wine that isn’t as flavorful as it could be.
2. Crushing and pressing. Use a mechanical press to crush the grapes into “must,” the name for fresh fruit juice that still contains the skins, seeds, and stems.
3. Fermenting. The two stages of fermentation are called primary and secondary. Both stages require yeast. In primary fermentation, the vessel is open to the air. This encourages the yeast to reproduce. In secondary fermentation, air exposure is limited so the yeast will make alcohol.
4. Clarifying. This step removes all the solids from the wine. You can clarify by filtering out the particles or by “fining,” which is adding a substance to the wine that adheres to the unwanted solids.
5. Aging and bottling. Finally, you have the option of either bottling the wine immediately or aging it in a ceramic tank or oak barrel. The container you use to age a wine will affect its taste.

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