The Art Of Elevage
Casks And The Taste Of Wine
From Goatskin To Plastic
Maturation: The Pragmatic Art
Sulphur dioxide
The Purpose Of Elevage
Minimal Intervention
Work In The Cellar

Elevage is first of all a preventative process. The new wine will have solid matter in suspension which must be removed if these substances are not to cause trouble later. These solids include yeast cells, bacteria, and tiny particles of grape skin and flesh. Removing, wholly or partially, these substances aims to avoid two main problems to which wine is subject. These are re-fermentation, caused by the presence of unfer-mented sugar and triggered by yeasts remaining in the wine or wild yeasts from the environment, and souring or turning to vinegar. Souring is caused by micro-organisms which need oxygen to act. Additional worries are excess deposit in the wine, which can trigger re-fermentation in bottle or (less serious, but often considered undesirable) a heavy deposit. Young wine also contains dissolved carbon dioxide, a product of fermentation. If this is not removed it can lead to a second fermentation in bottle. Some carbon dioxide adds a refreshing "prickle" or very gentle sparkle in young wines, especially whites. It is sought after in Muscadet bottled sur lie off the lees, without fining.

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