Second Fermentation Wine

Rewritten: The malolactic fermentation process, also referred to as second fermentation in wine, is a captivating transformation that enhances the depth and complexity of the end result. As a lover of wine, I have continually …

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Rewritten: The malolactic fermentation process, also referred to as second fermentation in wine, is a captivating transformation that enhances the depth and complexity of the end result. As a lover of wine, I have continually been fascinated by the scientific and artistic aspects of this transformation. In this article, I will guide you through the realm of second fermentation in wine, delving into its origins, significance, and influence on the overall taste profile.

A Brief History

Second fermentation has been practiced for centuries, with its origins dating back to ancient winemaking techniques. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that French chemist Louis Pasteur discovered the role of bacteria in this process. His groundbreaking research paved the way for a deeper understanding of fermentation and its impact on wine.

The Purpose of Second Fermentation

So why do winemakers choose to undergo second fermentation? Well, the primary goal is to convert harsh malic acid, which is naturally present in grapes, into softer lactic acid. This transformation results in a smoother mouthfeel and a more rounded flavor profile. Wines that have undergone second fermentation tend to be less acidic and more approachable, making them enjoyable to a wider range of palates.

The Process

Second fermentation typically takes place after the initial alcoholic fermentation, which converts grape sugars into alcohol. It involves the introduction of specific bacteria, usually of the Lactobacillus or Oenococcus genera, to encourage the conversion of malic acid to lactic acid. This process can occur spontaneously, but most winemakers choose to inoculate with selected bacteria to ensure consistency and control over the fermentation.

See also  How Do You Make Jailhouse Wine

The temperature and timing of second fermentation play crucial roles in determining the final outcome. Lower temperatures, around 20-22°C (68-72°F), are preferred to promote a slower and more gentle conversion of malic acid. The duration of the process can vary depending on the wine style and desired flavor profile, ranging from a few weeks to several months.

The Impact on Flavor

The conversion of malic acid to lactic acid through second fermentation has a profound impact on the flavor characteristics of the wine. The sharpness and tanginess associated with malic acid are replaced by a softer, creamier texture and a more rounded mouthfeel. Wines that have undergone second fermentation often exhibit notes of butter, cream, and vanilla, adding complexity and depth to the overall flavor profile.

Notable Wines Produced with Second Fermentation

While second fermentation is commonly associated with white wines, particularly Chardonnay, it is also employed in the production of some red wines. Here are a few notable examples:

  1. Chardonnay: Many Chardonnays from regions like Burgundy and California undergo second fermentation, resulting in a rich and buttery flavor profile.
  2. Champagne: The iconic sparkling wine of Champagne owes its characteristic creamy texture to the second fermentation that occurs in the bottle.
  3. Rioja: Some red wines from Spain’s Rioja region undergo second fermentation, contributing to their smooth and velvety mouthfeel.
  4. Burgundy Pinot Noir: Certain producers in Burgundy choose to put their Pinot Noir through second fermentation, adding complexity and a creamy texture to the wine.

In Conclusion

Second fermentation in wine is a captivating process that transforms the flavor profile of the final product. From its historical roots to its impact on taste, this fermentation step adds depth and complexity to wines, making them more enjoyable and approachable. As a wine lover, I am always delighted to discover wines that have undergone second fermentation, as they often provide a unique sensory experience. So, next time you uncork a bottle, take a moment to appreciate the artistry behind this fascinating process.

See also  What Dry White Wine For Cooking
John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
A Homebrewed Beer Wassail Recipe

Hail! A word filled with customs, a toast to good health and for many a fascinating puzzle. Today lets untangle Read more

Adding More Fruit To A Wine Recipe

As the sun sets below the horizon casting an array of orange and pink across the sky imagine yourself in Read more

Apple Cyser Recipe

With a glass of apple cyser in hand you can savor the combination of rich honeyed sweetness and the refreshing Read more

Amber Rye Ale Beer Recipe

Close your eyes for a moment. Envision the enticing scent of an Amber Rye Ale with its rich malty aroma Read more