How are wine kits made?

November 24th, 2008 by admin in interesting facts, wine making kits

Most winemaking kit suppliers contract grape purchases from growers by specifying conditions at harvest (acid, pH, brix, and color along with organoleptic qualities flavor and aroma). Specifying harvest conditions enables our suppliers to create consistent high-quality wine kits. When the grapes are ripe they are harvested and taken to a winery, where they are sulfited and crushed.

Red and white grape juice is created using different processes. All grape juice is clear when pressed. Pressed grape juice is called “must”. Red wine is created by crushing the grape skins and allowing the skins to “sit on the juice” and die the juice red.

White grapes are pressed and the juice pumped into settling tanks. Enzymes and Bentonite are added and circulated with the clear juice. After several hours the circulation is stopped and the juice is crash-chilled below freezing. This helps settle out the grape solids and helps prevent spoilage.

Red grapes are crushed, sulfited and pumped through a chiller to a maceration tank. Special enzymes are added to break down the cellulose membrane of the grape skins, extracting color, aroma and flavor. The tank is chilled to near freezing to prevent the must from fermenting. After two to three days the red must is pressed and pumped off and the juice is settled similar to white wines.

After the juice has settled in the tank it is almost clear and ready for rough filtering and preparation for shipping to our suppliers. Tanker trucks transport the raw or vacuum concentrated juice to our supplier’s kit facility.

Vacuum concentrators lower the pressure inside the juice tank to enable water to evaporate at very low temperatures, preventing browning and caremlization of the juices. A fractional distillation apparatus on the concentrator recovers evaporated water to prevent any aromatic compounds or essences from escaping and returns them to the concentrate after processing.

The juices are shipped from the vineyards to our suppliers who store them at very low temperatures until the juices and concentrates are blended into the formulations that make up the different wine kits. The low temperatures speed up the clearing process and preserve the juice until it is used. The juice formulation is adjusted until perfect, and then pasteurized to kill yeast and spoilage organisms before packaging in sterilized wine kits.

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