Glossary

A

Acidity

A naturally occuring component of every wine; the level of perceived sharpness; a key element to a wine’s longevity; a leading determinant of balance.

Aging

Holding wine in barrels, tanks, and bottles to advance them to a more desirable state.

Alcoholic fermentation

Also called primary fermentation, this is the process in which yeasts metabolize grape sugars and produce alcohol, carbon dioxide and heat. The final product is wine.

Ampelography

It is the field of botany concerned with the identification and classification of grapevines. Traditionally this has been done by comparing the shape and color of the vine leaves and grape berries; more recently the study of vines has been revolutionized by DNA fingerprinting.

Appellation

A delineated wine producing region particular to France

Aroma

The smell of wine, especially young wine (different than “bouquet”)

Aroma (tertiary)

Tertiary aromas is a wine tasting descriptor that refers to aromas in wine that are the result of bottle aging.

Astringent

Tasting term noting the harsh, bitter, and drying sensations in the mouth caused by high levels of tannin.

Attachage

French term for tying vine branches (or cordons) to the horizontal trellising wires in a vine-training system.

Attack

First impact of a wine. Austere – hard, high acid wines that lack depth and roundness. Said of young wines that may soften with age.

B

Balthazar

An oversized bottle which can hold the equivalent of 12-16 standard sized bottles.

Barrel

Wood container of different capacities. It is used to contain wine or different kind of alcohol. Frenck oak barrel, acacia or chestnut tree used to store, to carry or to make wine. For example 225L in region of Bordeaux, 232L in Touraine region, 228L in Bourgogne region..

Berry

An individual grape is called a berry by grapegrowers..

Bleeding of the vine

The phenomenon of sap being expelled from an open pruning wound on the grapevine that often happens during early spring. This is often a sign of good health for the vine. Also known as weeping.

Blossoming

The time and process of budding and unfolding of blossoms.

Bud

A bud is a small pointed lump that appears on a tree or plant and develops into a leaf or flower.

C

Cabernet Sauvignon

It is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates

Cellar

The area of the winery where point of sale purchases occur. This can be a tasting room or a separate sales area.

Chardonnay

It is a green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine. The variety originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France, but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand.

Corked

A term that denotes a wine that has suffered cork taint (not wine with cork particles floating about).

D

Destemming

Separating the stalks (the stems of the bunches) from the grape berries before they are placed in the fermentation tank. Can help avoid vegetable flavors and rustic or harsh tannins.

Disbudding

The removal of all the buds or burgeoning branches that could create too much weight on the vine (detrimental to harvest quality).

E

Encepagement

A French term used to describe the relative proportions of different grape varieties at a wine estate. In Bordeaux, encepagement is related to the different parcels of land depending on the soil, micro-climates and sun exposure. It also varies depending on the style of wine required.

G

Gastronomy

The art or science of good eating.

Gourmet

Add the word gourmet to any food or drink and it feels fancier, more upscale, and generally more desirable. But gourmet is less about the food than it is about the person who is the subject of the word. Gourmet (pronounced gor-MAY) is a term for a food connoisseur. Gourmets are also known as foodies.

Grape Variety

A type of grape.

J

Jeroboam

A large bottle holding 3 litres, the equivalent of 4 regular wine bottles.

L

Limestone

A sedimentary rock composed largely of the mineral calcite.

M

Mating disruption

It is a pest management technique designed to control certain insect pests by introducing artificial stimuli that confuse the individuals and disrupt mate localization and/or courtship, thus preventing mating and blocking the reproductive cycle.

Mouth

The finish of the bottle that is small in proportion to the diameter of the body.

Mouth-feel

How a wine feels on the palate; it can be rough, smooth, velvety, or furry.

Maceration

This process, used primarily in making red wine, involves steeping grape skins and solids in wine after fermentation, when alcohol acts as a solvent to extract color, tannins and aroma from the skins (aided by heat, the amount of skin contact and time). Cold maceration (steeping when the must is not heated), takes place before fermentation.

Manseng

Appears as two clones, Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng, mainly to be found in the western regions of the Pyrenees area of southwest France. Used for producing both dry and sweet white wines.

Maturation nf

Quality decisive point in the annual growth cycle the grapevine to which the vintage he follows. It is the end of the maturity period between veraison (Start of ripening, where the berries begin to discolor) and grape ripeness. The period between blossom and Maturation is next climate and Weather also from the Maturity date (early to late) the vine dependent. The pre-Véraison green berries have a relatively high content acids which are degraded during maturation while the content of sugar increases.

Maturity

Fruit maturity of grapes is commonly monitored by periodically measuring soluble solids content of ripening berries with a handheld refractometer.

O

Oaky

Used to describe a wine that has been matured in barrels. It often appears alongside a toasted bread note in young Bordeaux wines that have been aged in barrels, and gradually transforms into vanilla, mocha, chocolate or coconut. Oaky aromas derive from the tannins in the barrels during the maturation process.

Œnology

is the science and study of wine and winemaking; distinct from viticulture, the agricultural endeavours of vine-growing and of grape-harvesting.

P

Plough

It is a tool or farm implement used for initial cultivation to loosen or turn the soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting.

Plow

An implement used to make furrows in and turn over the earth. Its essential parts are a share to break the ground, a moldboard to turn the soil, a beam by which to draw the implement and handles to guide it.

Pressing

In winemaking is the process where the juice is extracted from the grapes with the aid of a wine press, by hand, or even by the weight of the grape berries and clusters.

S

Supple

A supple wine is one that is soft, lush, velvety, and very attractively round and tasty. It is a highly desirable characteristic because it suggests that the wine is harmonious.

Sarment

A French term used to describe vine branches cut off during the year and collected after pruning. In Bordeaux these are used to barbecue meat (the classic ‘entrecôte aux sarments’). They may also be buried in the rows of vines to produce organic fertiliser, or ground and burnt.

Racking

The practice of moving wine from one container to another for aeration or clarification, leaving sediment behind.

Residual sugar

Unfermented grape sugar in a finished wine.

Scrubland

It is an area of land which is covered with low trees and bushes.

T

Table de tri nf

Tapis convoyeur sur lequel la vendange est déversée à son arrivée dans le chai. Des trieurs éliminent tout ce qui est indésirable : raisin, abîmés, pourris et verts, morceaux de sarments, feuilles et pétioles.

Terroir

It is the set of all environmental factors that affect a crop’s phenotype, including unique environment contexts, farming practices and a crop’s specific growth habitat.

V

Valley

An elongated depression between uplands, hills, or mountains, especially one following the course of a stream.

Veraison/ Ripening

It is a process in fruits that causes them to become more palatable. In general, fruit becomes sweeter, less green (typically “redder”), and softer as it ripens.

Vertical wine tasting

In a vertical tasting, different vintages of the same wine type from the same winery are tasted, such as a winery’s Pinot noir from five different years. This emphasizes differences between various vintages for a specific wine. In a horizontal tasting, the wines are all from the same vintage but are from different wineries or microclimates.

Vinification

The process of making grape juice into wine.

W

Winery

A wine-making establishment.

Well-structured

A wine is well-structured when it has a good constitution, with richness and tannins, in contrast to a watery, or thin wine. A well-structured wine usually has good bottle ageing potential.

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