Wine Fermentation

Posted By admin on Jun 15, 2014 in Wine Club |

? A question from an eWine Member…
“Sometimes the back label of a wine bottle
mentions ‘cool’ fermentation. What differences
does the fermentation temperature make?”


Fermentation temperatures affect the style and
flavor of a wine. Cooler temperatures encourage
a gentle, gradual fermentation that maintains
the freshness of fruit.

On the other hand, just a touch of warmth can
add a richer, rounder mouth-feel. Excessively
high temperatures can make the fruit flavors
seem stewed and dull, or even kill the yeasts,
prematurely stopping fermentation.

The heat comes primarily from the yeasts during
fermentation, although outside temperatures can
also affect the process. When yeasts convert
grape sugars into alcohol, they also produce heat.

The average temperature range for fermenting
white wines is approximately 45 to 60 degrees F
in the New World, and nearly 10 degrees warmer
in the Old World.

Red wines are generally fermented at warmer
temperatures, since higher temperatures increase
the extraction of colors and tannins from the
skins. The average range is 75 to 90 degrees F.

Chilling or warming the air temperature in the
cellar or winery if the wine is fermenting in
small barrels can control fermentation temperature.

Large stainless-steel fermentation tanks
frequently have thermal jackets that can cool
or warm the grapes as needed.

Brad Caskey
Durango Liquor & Wine

1145 S Camino Del Rio # 101 (next to Walmart)
Durango, CO 81303

(970) 259-4900