Cold maceration is the process of putting the grapes in a refrigerated environment for several days before starting fermentation to encourage color extraction. This ‘cold soak’ strategy helps emphasize brighter fruit notes and darker color in the finished wine.
What is ‘co-fermentation?’
Co-fermentation is the process of fermenting two or more grape varietals simultaneously. While not done often, it is a common practice in the Northern Rhône and Australia, where Syrah, a red grape, and Viognier, a white grape, are co-fermented. The process is believed to increase texture and color in the final product.
What are the general flavor differences in American and French oak?
While both American and French oak contribute tannins and aromas, French oak contains more tannins and flavor components with less ‘oaky’ flavor and smell than American oak. American oak is more intensely flavored, with a more aggressive mouthfeel and immediately apparent aroma. American oak also contains more sweet and vanilla overtones than French oak. When it comes to wine barrels, all winemakers are looking for something different, and there is no right or wrong choice - it’s just a difference in style preference.
Originally published in the Gold Wine Club's The Wine Press, Jason-Stephens Winery edition.