How Is Wine Made?

Mark Izydore
3 min readMay 18, 2022


Wine is an alcoholic beverage prepared from partially fermented or fully fermented grapes.
Grapes are members of the Vitaceae plant family, which includes many species. Vitis labrusca and, in particular, Vitis vinifera, which has long been the most frequently used wine grape globally, are the two most widely utilized species in wine production.

Viticulture refers to the cultivation of wine grapes to manufacture wine. Wine grapes are harvested in the fall and range from pale yellow to robust green to crimson red. Making wine has stayed mostly the same over time, although increasingly sophisticated apparatus and technology have helped streamline and expand production.

Timing is a universal aspect of the development of good wine. This includes selecting grapes, extracting, monitoring, managing fermentation, and storing the wine for the appropriate amount of time. The first step in winemaking is harvesting, often known as plucking. There would be no wine without fruit, and no fruit other than grapes has the requisite tannins, esters, and acids to consistently make natural, stable wine. The grapes must be harvested precisely to create superb wine, preferably when physiologically ripe.

Harvesting dates are normally determined using a combination of science and old-fashioned taste, with input from consultants, winemakers, vineyard managers, and proprietors. Harvesting can be done either by hand or by machine. However, many estates prefer to harvest by hand since mechanical harvesters may be harsh on the grapes and the vineyard.

The next step in winemaking is to crush complete clusters of fresh ripe grapes. Machine crushers now carry out the time-honored process of stomping or trodding the grapes into what is generally called ‘’must’’. In the past, the crushing process was done manually by people who crushed the grapes in barrels.

However, it’s worth noting that not all wine starts in a crusher. Winemakers may choose to allow fermentation to begin inside uncrushed whole grape clusters before pressing them, enabling the natural weight of the grapes and the start of fermentation to rupture the grapes’ skins.

Fermentation is the true mysticism at work in the winemaking process. If the crushed grapes are left alone, they will spontaneously ferment in 6–12 hours using wild yeasts in the air. However, many winemakers prefer to interfere at this step by inoculating the natural must for several reasons. This means they’ll replace the wild, often unpredictable native yeasts with a yeast strain of their choosing, allowing them to forecast the eventual result more accurately.

Fermentation usually continues until all of the sugar has been converted to alcohol and a dry wine has been formed. Fermentation time might range from 10 days to a month or longer. Because of the overall sugar content of the must, the resultant level of alcohol in wine varies from one location to the next.

The maturing and bottling of wine is the final step in the winemaking process. Following clarification, the winemaker can bottle the wine right away. Aging can occur in a bottle, stainless steel or ceramic tanks, enormous wooden ovals, or tiny barrels known as barriques. The options and strategies available in this final step of the procedure and the ultimate outcomes are practically limitless. In every case, though, the end outcome is wine.



Mark Izydore

Based in both Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and Jupiter, Florida, Mark Izydore has served CJ Consultants in Jupiter as a co-manager since 2020.