Wine Technical Terms
The cellar door has been abuzz this week as we released our 2017 Harries and are getting ready to release our new vintages of The Moo and Lotties, with all the talk about the new vintages we’ve been throwing arounds a few terms that you don’t often hear outside the winery. We decided this would make a great topic for todays Happy Hour, we have in the past written about Wine Tasting Terms, but for today we thought we’d embrace our inner wine nerds and bring you a few Technical terms to familiarise yourself with.
Geographical Indication (GI)
A GI is a name or brand of wine that that uses the place of origin as its name. This name can be quite broad in contrast with Appellation of Origin.
Appellation of Origin
Indicates the place of origin as well as the qualities and characteristics of the wine from where the wine is produced. Appellations are generally controlled, “typical controls will include restrictions on yield, grape varieties, and wine management techniques”. One of the best known examples of this is Champagne.
A French term derived from the Latin word terra, meaning earth. This suggests the idea of the soils interactions with the climate as giving certain characteristics to wine unique to each region.
A scale of measuring the sugar content in grapes. Used to determine when to harvest the grapes.
Volatile Acidity (VA)
Measure of the total concentration of volatile acids present in wine. Acetic acid being the major component making up 96% of Volatile Acidity, a naturally occurring byproduct of the normal action of yeast in grape juice. Low concentrations of Volatile Acid can add complexity and fruitiness while higher concentrations can cause a more vinegary flavour.
Yeast whether naturally occurring or added begins to eat away at the sugars within the grapes then converting it into alcohol. “It comes from the Latin word fervere, to boil; any mass containing sugar that has been infused with yeast certainly looks as though it is boiling, as it exudes carbons dioxide bubbles”.
Neither grape juice nor wine but a mixture of grape juice, stem fragments, grape skins, seeds and pulp, this intermediate liquid is called the Must.
Literally meaning ‘to soften by soaking’, Maceration is the process of fermentation that extracts all the qualities that give wine it’s colour, flavour, body and tannins. Extracting these qualities from the ‘must’.
Whole bunch grapes begin fermentation free of oxygen and yeast with a layer of carbon dioxide. This process causes the grapes to ferment from the inside out. The result is a young wine with low tannins, ready to drink.
An instrument used to ‘steal’ wine from the barrel in order to taste or test it.
The word has a few different uses it can mean the process of evaporation of wine while in barrel. It can also refer to any space in a stopped wine bottle not occupied by wine.
The alternative to a cork is the Screwcap, with the most well known brand being Stelvin.
When transferred from barrel to bottle the wine goes into a form of shock. After bottling wine is allowed time to settle before moving on to the next stage, drinking.
Collection of wine bottles stacked on top of one another. A ‘bin end’ is the left over bottles from a larger collection of bottles. Some Australian wine companies have a tradition of using the word bin in brand names.
We hope you’ve learnt something new today, perhaps the next time you visit cellar door you’ll have a new found insight into the inner workings of the wine making world.
– “The Oxford Companion to Wine”. Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding. Oxford University Press. 2015.
Our classic 80% Grenache, 20% Shiraz blend brings to the table what is sure to be one of our favourite Harries yet. We’re very excited for you to have the opportunity to experience the 2017 Harries Grenache Shiraz.
Renown for its easy-drinking balance and unmatched versatility, Harries is a comfortable favourite. The 2017 Harries brings a hint of mint to the senses, displaying characteristics of strawberry and quince with a fruity vibrancy on the palate, finally long soft tannins carried by spicy and dry notes finish off this well rounded red.