White Wine

How White Wine is Made | Step by Step (White Wines 2023 Guide)

What is White Wine

Understanding wine's making process aids in understanding the wine's traits, personality, style, etc.

White grapes make white wines most frequently, but darker-skinned varieties like Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer can also be utilised. In this article, we'll share the overall process of making white wine to understand every step between the vine to the table.


What is White Wine

White wine is a transparent or light golden-coloured alcoholic beverage often produced from grapes with a light peel. Dark grapes can also be used as long as their flesh is light. White wine has a bright colour and little tannin since it is fermented with little skin and stem contact.

Where Did White Wine Come From

Where Did White Wine Come From

Around 2500 BC, white wine was referred to as "wiyana" in ancient Hittite tablets from Mesopotamia. Hippocrates, a physician in ancient Greece, described treating his patients with "vinous white wine" and "bitter white wine."

It is believed that the Greeks taught the ancient Romans many methods for creating wine. They truly liked sweet white wine. The Roman empire expanded into more of Europe, and wine production expanded.

Early modern winemakers experimented with novel methods like noble rot and secondary fermentation, which increased output even further. As a result, expensive and uncommon wines and well-known wines like French Champagne, Spanish sherry, and Hungarian Tokay were created.


Difference Between White Wine and Red Wine

Difference Between White Wine and Red Wine


In addition to the colour difference, there are other distinctions in the wines' flavour, the taste of the grapes used, and production methods. White wines typically have a fruity, dry flavour. Red wines, meanwhile, usually taste thick and harsh.

However, the wine-making process is where the most significant distinction lies. White wines gain their delicate, sweet flavour from the absence of grape skins during the fermentation. Before pressing and fermenting, the skins, stems, and seeds are eliminated. White wines have a lighter tint, and red wines have darker hues since the skins also contribute to the wine's colour.

Before fermentation, red wine is crushed with skins and seeds, which gives it a more prosperous, bitterer flavour. It also takes longer to mature because the skins and juice are combined before being added directly to their containers.


Process of Making White Wines

When it comes to white wine production, the Australian domestic market is by far the largest individual wine market, consuming over 500 million liters of Australian wine annually, or 40% of Australian wine production.[1]

On the other hand, the overall process of producing white wine is still complex. When it is made in various climates, white wine can exhibit tremendous character and flavour variations in multiple environments.

Still, the basic steps involved in making white wine remain the same. Here is a detailed explanation of how white wine is made, including all the information you need in each step.

 white wine

1. Harvesting the Grapes

To produce high-quality white wine, freshness is essential. The rush begins when a crew removes the grapes from the vines.

The grapes are typically harvested in the early morning when they are still chilly from the previous night's air. In certain instances, portable lighting lights up the vines so workers can complete their tasks before dawn.

The grapes are rapidly transported in bins, trailers, or truck beds. They are compressed to extract the juice and pulp from the skins in a matter of hours. Hand-harvested grapes are collected in clusters or bunches. Machine harvesters have already separated them from their groups.

Two other crucial factors that winemakers think about for harvest include:

  • When to harvest the grapes: The exact moment of ripeness is essential since it significantly impacts the wine's flavour.
  • Pick grapes when it's cool outside: White wines will taste fresher if picked early in the day or late at night.

Another interesting fact is that, on average, white wine grapes are harvested earlier in the season than red wine grapes.

 Crushing and Pressing the Grapes

2. Crushing and Pressing the Grapes

Crushing and destemming the grapes comes next. With a hand crank-style crusher-de-stemmer, you may quickly complete this task home. Most crusher-destemmers allow you to change the distance between their crushing wheels. To prevent the excessive release of harsher seed tannin, adjust this so that it is close enough to pop the berries without being too close to shattering any seeds.

Simply purchasing a crusher or stomping the grapes the old-fashioned way will help you save some money if you don't ever intend to make red wine. Since the grapes will be promptly pressed, it is not as important as it is when creating red wine. Stems can be advantageous when pressing grapes because they make lovely, narrow channels through which the juice can flow more readily.

A light 25–50ppm dose of SO2 in the form of potassium metabisulfite should be applied to the crushed berries unless you work with the cleanest, most flawless grapes. Because wine-friendly yeasts have a far higher tolerance to SO2, this will inhibit any wild yeast, mould, or bacteria, giving them a competitive edge.

Pour the crushed wine directly into the wine press and start pressing. Some people will tolerate up to a few hours of skin contact on white wine, but any longer is typically excessive. Use a funnel with a kitchen strainer inside to press directly into clear carboys—for the following steps, seeing the juice will be helpful.

During the crushing and pressing processes, keep the grapes and juice as cold as possible during the crushing and pulverising procedures. As long as the grapes do not have too much dew, picking early in the morning, just before sunrise, is beneficial.

Additional Note: It is advisable to avoid this stage entirely and purchase white wine juice unless you have access to local white grape harvests or are cultivating your white grapes. In this way, which is ideal, the grapes are crushed and pressed immediately after being picked.

Red wine, however, is an exception to this. Compared to a red wine that spends several days fermenting with the skins and seeds, flash-extracted red wines that aren't fermented with them are frequently bland and characterless.

 Cold Settling and Racking

3. Cold Settling and Racking 

After pressing the juice, let it sit for one to three days. To stop any microbial activity at this stage, you should keep it cold (45°F). For this, a spare refrigerator is functional. Placing the carboys in large plastic containers and partially filling the containers with ice water is another easy way to keep the juice cool. You will need to add extra ice around twice daily for this procedure.

Rack the settled lees into your fermenter when the juice has settled. Any food- and fermentation-friendly container, such as a barrel, a 3/4-full carboy, a food-grade bucket, a food-grade trash can, and so on, can be used to ferment white wine. Turning it into wine can start after your juice is clean and ready for fermentation.


4. Starting the Fermentation Process

Bring the juice up to around 70°F to begin the fermentation. Avoid doing this too slowly since, in the 50–60°F range, some unfavourable yeasts that produce acetic acid can outcompete wine yeast.

1. Select a trustworthy yeast that can ferment well at lower temperatures and is not overly nitrogen hungry. Many people use d47 to make white wine; however, if the conditions aren't precisely correct, it can release a lot of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Renaissance Fresco is the white wine yeast I use the most. Although this yeast is officially designated as a cider yeast, it performs admirably when producing crisp white wine.

2. Make a yeast starter to ensure a robust and reliable start to the fermentation. Using Go-Ferm will assist your colony in becoming stronger before being added to the wine. Add a little juice to the starter once the hydrated yeast shows activity. Pour slowly onto the juice's surface after your excellent, vigorous starter is within 10°F of the liquid. There's no need to mix it in.

3. Keep an eye out for fermenting hints. After 12 to 24 hours, you should notice a few little bubbles. Once the juice has begun to ferment quickly, reduce the temperature to assist in retaining the juice's volatile and delicate fruity fragrances. This is essential for producing a crisp, bright white wine. Renaissance Fresco, a non-H2S yeast, allows for very low maintenance fermentation at temperatures as low as 55°F. Several times per day, put frozen 1L, 2L, or 1-gallon bottles into the fermentation or use the chilly water in the bin method indicated above to lower the temperature.

4. Feed the yeast with quality yeast nutrition after a day or two. If you feed before your selected yeast actively ferment, you risk encouraging undesirable yeast or bacteria to escape. Most other bacteria cannot compete after a good wine yeast has begun to ferment.


5. Stirring and Monitoring

Twice a day throughout the fermentation, swirl the wine. Stirring should initially introduce a small amount of air. This will make it easier for the yeast to grow and recover energy through aerobic respiration.

Each time you swirl the wine, take a whiff and smell it. Look for even the smallest amount of H2S, which will smell like sulfur or rotten egg. Thus, this is a sign of a stressed fermentation that is nitrogen- or air-starved or fermenting outside the optimal temperature range.

Try to feed and aerate the fermentation back to the contented midpoint. Even the tiniest hint of H2S smell can cause mercaptan to become detectable later, giving the wine an unpleasant flavour of burnt rubber or garlic. You can use this product to treat if a little nutrient and air don't work to eliminate the sulfur smell.

Acetic acid (vinegar smell) or acetaldehyde (port wine or sherry fragrance) can be signs of an underfed yeast or too much oxygen exposure. This is a little less common during active fermentation, but it is something to be on the lookout for, particularly when the fermentation slows down.

The yeast can convert these substances back to ethanol if discovered in time. In this situation, fermentation can be completed with some yeast nutrition and little air contact. If you detect any oxidative odours once fermentation is finished, it will be crucial to use sulfite.

After fermentation is finished, do not add yeast nutrients if you detect any smells of vinegar, acetaldehyde, or ethyl acetate (nail polish remover). A type of acetic acid bacteria is the more likely culprit in this instance (AAB). Any additional nutrients at this point will just feed the harmful bacteria. The best approach is to limit air exposure, use a sterile filter (if possible), and use sulfite to try to tie up at least the acetaldehyde.

 buy wine online Australia wine fermentation

6.Stabilising and Waiting

Usually, after fermentation is finished, you'll add enough SO2 to stop malolactic fermentation. The wine will undergo malolactic fermentation, changing its flavour to become more buttery and savoury. I like to add a significant amount of SO2—75 ppm or more—all at once when the fermentation process is finished rather than continuously regulating the SO2 to maintain protection.

The malolactic fermentation process benefits some white wines, such as Chardonnay, so add a solid, dependable malolactic culture like CH35. In this instance, you will need sulfite when the malolactic fermentation is finished.

Should White Wine Be Oaked? Not frequently. The delicate fruit notes of white wine can be swiftly masked by a bit of oak. Occasionally, you'll come across a chardonnay that has been aged on wood or an oak-aged Riesling that is meant to be aged for a long time. 

It is worthwhile to cold stabilise the wine before bottling now that it is microbially stable. Simply refrigerate the wine to have a cold, regular wine. This can be completed in a week at 30°F or a few months at 40°–50°F, such as in your garage during the winter. A portion of the wine's tartaric acid will react with potassium and precipitate out as potassium bitartrate (cream of tartar).

To avoid finding unattractive crystals in the bottles, cold stabilisation encourages these tartrate crystals to fall out before the wine is put into a bottle.

All that's left to do is wait for the wine to become crystal clear, which typically takes three to six months. When the wine is clear, you can either bottle it or back-sweeten it.

Most white wines are ready to drink after six to twelve months. Remember that the wine will likely be served chilled when adding sweetness. This makes chilled serving temperature the ideal temperature to taste different test degrees of sweetness rather than storage temperature.

 buy wine online Australia bottling and degassing wine

7. Degassing and Bottling the Wine

Degassing to eliminate most of the wine's dissolved CO2 is usually worthwhile because white wines can be bottled at a young age. With the use of a degassing tool, such as this drill mount degassing tool, the wine can be bottled rather rapidly. You don't need to get too fancy with white wine because the serving temperature is cool. Since CO2 is more soluble at lower temperatures,

it is doubtful that you will notice any bubbles when pouring wine unless it is exceptionally CO2-saturated. Instead, they will likely remain dissolved. In the case of red wine, however, this is not the case. If a wine is bottled with a small quantity of dissolved CO2 and then warmed to 65–70°F before serving, you will frequently see a few tiny bubbles around the rim of the glass and possibly taste and feel the CO2 itself.

Meanwhile, to ensure quality, bottling the wine is the finishing touch that must be applied with considerable care. This is due to the wine's vulnerability during the transfer from a tank to its final container—a bottle, can, or pouch. All of this mobility could expose it to oxygen, reducing its capacity to age and taking away from its fruitiness.

Most large vineyards use a highly automated bottling process where bottles are filled by one machine and then transported on a conveyor to another piece of equipment where a cork or artificial closure is applied. Then either a foil capsule or a screwcap is placed on top. Before the bottles are put in boxes and prepared for transportation and sale, the next machine applies the front and rear labels.


8. Your White Wine is Ready to Be Enjoyed!

After the overall process, your wine is ready to be consumed! If you're planning on selling it to the market, it’s essential to keep in mind that the turnaround time is substantially shorter for white wines than for red wines. This is because people adore white wines' fruity, flowery, and fresh characteristics, which all result from freshness rather than ageing.

But other than that, share your white wine immediately with your friends and family, and take note of their feedback for your next wine-making endeavor!


Best White Wines Here At Kendricks Familia Imports

We exclusively provide the finest white wines at Kendricks Familia Imports, which are appropriate for any occasion. We have put them all down for you to choose from based on your unique celebration and taste:

1. Castelo de Medina Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Castelo de Medina Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Castelo de Medina Sauvignon Blanc 2020 is a crisp, juicy white wine with a medium acidity and a long finish from Valladolid in the Rueda D.O. Grilled seafood and this Spanish white wine go along beautifully.

Region - Spain - Valladolid

Grape - Savingnon Blanc

Alcohol - 13%

Size - 750ml


2. Mar de Frades Albarino WIne 2020

Mar de Frades Albarino WIne 2020

An experimental wine from Bodegas Mar de Frades, the Mar de Frades Albarino 2020 from Rias Baixas, Spain, was inspired by characteristics of el mar (the sea). Its flavors of melon and lemon burst forward to meet traces of salt, minerals, and smoke. This wine has a wonderful sense of balance and a lovely tongue softening sensation for your palate.

Region - Spain - Rias Baixas

Grape - Albarino

Alcohol - 13%

Size - 750ml


3. Mateus Rosé Original

Mateus Rosé Original

A popular choice and one of the most recognizable Portuguese wines, Mateus is as well-known a brand as any in the modern era. Originally, the flasks that the soldiers of World War I carried about served as inspiration for its distinctively formed bottle.

It became very well-liked, particularly in the UK, and is still relished there and all over the world today. It has a subtle sweetness and a faint effervescence, and it is a youthful, bright rose from Portugal. With seafood or your preferred Thai takeout, it goes great as an aperitif or with a drink.

Region - Portugal - Alentejo

Grape - Baga, Shiraz Grapes

Alcohol - 11%

Size - 750ml


4. Palácio da Brejoeira Alvarinho White 2019

Palácio da Brejoeira Alvarinho White 2019

The Minho region produces the Vinho Verde wine Palacio da Brejoeira Alvarinho. With aromas of apricot and stone fruit, medium acidity, and softened off tannins toward the finish, this Portuguese white wine is a true gem, with a vibrant, fresh, and purely lovely aftertaste.

Region: Vinho Verde

Varieties: Alvarinho

Volume: 13%

Bottle Size: 750 ml

Winemaker: João Garrido


5. Porto Cruz White Port

Porto Cruz White Port

Port Cruz white port, which comes from Porto in Portugal, is a unique new world port. The ideal wine for dessert is this Portuguese port. It is best served with ice when lounging by the beach or after a hearty lunch with sweet dessert (ie. tarta de Santiago).

Region - Portugal - Porto

Grape - Douro Valley Grapes

Alcohol - 20%

Size - 750ml

Winemaker: Martins Alves


6. Quinta de Gomariz Alvarinho White 2020

Quinta de Gomariz Alvarinho White 2020

The 2020 vintage of Quinta de Gomariz Alvarinho, a lively Portuguese white wine from the Vinho Verde region, with a dependable lengthy finish. High acidity is complemented by a mineral finish and flavors of pear, kiwi, and freshly squeezed lime are present on the nose.

Region - Portugal - Minho/ Vinho Verde

Grape - Alvarinho

Alcohol - 13%

Size - 750ml

Winemaker: António Sousa


7. Quinta de Gomariz Loureiro White 2020

Quinta de Gomariz Loureiro White 2020

The Quinta de Gomariz Loureiro 2020 offers a balanced acidity, honey, citrus, and floral aromas. This Portuguese white wine from the Vinho Verde region offers outstanding value for the level of quality present and is best appreciated with grilled fish or oysters.

Region - Portugal - Minho/ Vinho Verde

Grape - Loureiro

Alcohol - 13%

Size - 750ml

Winemaker: António Sousa


8. Vinho Verde Azul Portugal Escolha White 2020

Vinho Verde Azul Portugal Escolha White 2020

A white Portuguese wine from the Minho region, Azul Portugal Vinho Verde 2020. This wine is a perfect summer cocktail because of the fresh pineapple, green apple, and low acidity. This Portuguese white wine is mildly effervescent, making it an excellent refresher on a hot day. Serve this with grilled seafood or fresh ceviche.

Region - Portugal - Minho

Grape - Vinho Verde

Alcohol - 12%

Size - 0.75

Winemaker: José Oliveira


9. Vinho Verde Azul Portugal Reserva 2019

Vinho Verde Azul Portugal Reserva 2019

The Minho area of Portugal produces the structured and distinct white wine known as Azul Portugal Vinho Verde. Lots of acid in this dry, robust wine brings out the crisp flavors of lemon, ginger, and cilantro, and a Laksa or Asian cuisine's ideal accompaniment.

Region - Portugal - Vinho Verde, Minho Province

Grape - Loureiro

Alcohol - 12%

Size - 750ml

Winemaker: José Oliveira

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