How red wine is made

Harvested grapes ready for crush and fermentation

Harvested grapes ready for crush and fermentation

The steps in making red wine

Do you ever wonder how red wine is made?  This is a quick and easy lesson on how red wine is made in the wine cellar. It is much more complex than this and, if you want to learn more details, we suggest you take a good tour at a winery. Use this handy Winery Finder and Trip Planner on Wine Country Getaways to find wineries in California that offer wine cellar tours.  The slideshow below shows you visuals of the most important steps in the making of red wine. The next time you open up a nice bottle of red, you’ll be able to appreciate that wine just a tad more.

  • Grapes begin their growing season in Spring.
  • Harvest occurs when the sugar content is ideal for the winemaker. Usually September.
  • Grapes are then de-stemmed, sorted and crushed
  • Fermentation begins. Fermentation is usually done in stainless steel tanks, but concrete or oak barrels can be used.
  • When fermentation is complete, the red wine is transferred to barrels for aging. French oak is best for good red wines.
  • When the red wine has been aged properly, the wine is ready for bottling, labeling and further aging.
  • Wine is on the store shelves.

Slideshow showing the steps in making red wine

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