How wine is made

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Winemaking is a natural process that includes 5 stages. Considered the gold standard of French wines with regional roots, Maison Calvet brings you its unique expertise in vinification or micro-vinification. Expertise is passed on with passion from generation to generation, from grape selection to bottling, to delight all wine lovers.

Harvesting the grapes: the first stage in winemaking

Known in France as the vendange, the harvest consists of picking the grapes that will be used to make wine, when they have reached perfect ripeness. It can be done manually or mechanically and generally takes place between September and October, depending on the geographical area and weather conditions. The harvest is based on the sugar content of the grapes, which is why harvesters carefully monitor the veraison. The harvest should not take place too early, otherwise the acidity will prevail over the sugar; or too late, which will alter the taste of the wine as the grapes will be too ripe. Then comes destemming, an important stage in winemaking that involves removing the stalks.

Grinding and pressing

After selecting and sorting the grapes that will be used to make the wine, the winemakers move on to the second stage, which is grinding and pressing the grapes to produce the must. In the past, grapes were ground manually by being stamped on, but now this is done using mechanical presses to preserve the quality and longevity of the grapes. It should be noted that pressing is different for red and white wines, so we distinguish between red pressing and white pressing. Fermentation: a pivotal stage in winemaking Alcoholic fermentation is a natural chemical process in which ethanol is produced from the transformation of sugar by the yeasts.


The clarification of the wine is carried out either by natural sedimentation or by fining or filtering.

Bottling and ageing

Once the wine is clarified, it is then bottled. Bottling is the final stage in winemaking after the first ageing, known as élevage. The bottles are then sealed with a cork or capsule, before the labels and other finishing touches are added. Bottling allows the winemaker to allow the wine to age in order to develop its aromas, which is known as maturation.

— Friday 12 January 2024 by Olivier