Vineyard & Winery Management

March/April 2015

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BY ERIN DONNELLY (UPDATED BY DENISE M. GARDNER) Distillation for Faulted Wines Winemaking missteps can have spirited results Photo: Thinkstock he overall quality of a wine is the sum of each step in the process. Should a miscalculation or misstep occur along the production line, the final beverage can be negatively affected. Some production decisions can result in wine faults, which decrease the quality of wine and the degree to which it will be enjoyed by the consumer. While there are several ways to remediate these faults, one option is to perform distillation of the flawed wine into a high-proof spirit. Distillation is a controlled process by which a low-proof alcoholic bever- age is heated to separate ethanol from water and other components (such as organic acids or flavor compounds) with the ultimate goal of concentrating the ethanol into a high-proof spirit. Prior to distillation, wine is fermented by yeast and alcoholic strength is typically kept low. Upon completion of fermentation, the wine is then transferred to a still where a heat source is applied. 7 4 V I N E YA R D & W I N E RY M A N A G E M E N T | M a r - A p r 2 015

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