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From the hills of Northern California to the green pastures of France, a wide range of red wine types – from light to bold – find their way to tables around the world. Red wines can vary immensely in color, scent, body, taste, alcohol level and overall experience as a product of the grape variety, terroir and production methods and variables.
Grape VarietiesJust like other cultivated plants, wine grapes have many varieties. The one(s) used impacts deeply the wine, being possible to achieve an immense difference in the wine’s expression. Varietal vs Blended Wines Each grape variety has a distinct wine profile. That is shown in Varietal wines, produced mainly with one grape variety. On the other side we have Blended Wines, produced with mixtures of different varieties in the search of a better equilibrium.
TerroirWine differences are also influenced by terroir and its growing season, amount of rain, altitude, temperature and the soil characteristics where the vines are rooted in. This matters as much to the final product as the varietal or blend utilized.
Harvest DateThe moment the grapes are picked is an important decision. Early picking will produce high-acidity, low alcohol and green flavored wine. The tannins, also, tend to become more bitter. Picking later, on the other hand, will generate wines with lower acidity, higher alcohol or sweetness and more subdued tannins.
Cold Soaking, Maceration Time and Skin ContactCold soaking is the process of keeping the grape must cold enough that prevents the yeast from fermenting. In this process the color, the fruit flavors and the tannins are extracted from the grape skins. The total time that the grape skins touch a wine is called maceration time.
Hot Fermentation vs. Cool FermentationFruit flavors and color are also influenced by the fermentation temperature. Red wines with increased color and tannin are usually produced by warmer fermentation (80-100 °F / 26-37 °C), where cold fermentation, gentler to delicate aromas, is common for white and rosé wines (42-50 °F, 6-10 °C).
Stirring During Fermentation: Pump Overs vs. Punch DownsThere’s mainly two ways to stir the wine during the fermentation process. Pump Overs gets the wine on the bottom of the tank and sprinkle it on the top. The intensity of this process defines how much tannin is extracted. Punch downs, on the other hand, are a very delicate way to stir a wine, usually by hand, with less oxygen being added. The product is a less tannin and color intense wine.
Oak-Aging vs. Steel TankWines aged in oak develops vanilla and nutty flavors and decreases its tannins level by oxygen exposure. Steel tank tend to be favoured for zesty and greener wines. It limits the oxygen exposure, keeping the wine younger and fresher.
ZYN Wine Market holds a huge range of Varietal options, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah / Shiraz and several others. We also proudly offer you Red Wine Blends.
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