How Long Does it Take to Make Wine (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 months

There are many hobbies like singing, dancing and playing. But making wine is also considered a hobby. How long does it take to make wine? The major difference between homebrewing wine and beer is the time taken to brew them. It is already known that wine is aged to give more taste and color. Rushing the making of wine is considered a waste of good wine among homebrewers of wine. There is no specific time mentioned for aging the wine as aging differs from type to type.

How Long Does it Take to Make Wine?

The process of turning grapes into wine does not take too long — the fermentation process through which yeast turns the sugar in grapes to alcohol takes approximately a week. Winemakers perform different kinds of massaging to young wine before it gets into the bottle. Unlikely, massaging is not possible in homebrewing wines.  

Below is the table that depicts the change in properties as time increases:

Wine AgingProperties
1 monthThis is the minimum time needed for tasting wine. Any time before this is not appropriate for tasting the wine.
3 monthsThe transformation from young wine to a matured one. Matured wines have gained increased flavors and distinctions.
6 monthsWine is mature enough for tasting. At this stage, wine has great taste. The wine does not need any more maturing.
10 or more monthsMatures the flavor even better. Bitterness is unique.

Inference from the above table is that wine tastes better with age. It is important that after fermentation, the wine must be left as it is for better taste and flavor. At the same time, aging differs depending on the type of wine.

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Why Does it Take That Long to Make Wine?

Aging is made a mandatory process of making wine after fermentation because aging makes wine taste better. As mentioned above, with time, the properties of the wine change. These properties mainly include taste and color. There can be pros and cons for any process. In the same way, there are pros and cons to aging the wine.

Whether aging benefits the wine or not depends on various factors. Not every wine benefits from aging. Some wines are to be opened immediately after fermentation since they lose the fruity character if kept closed for so long. Wines made to age are difficult to drink young because they require acid and tannin to age properly.

Tannins play a major role in aging. But, what are they? How to find them? And lastly, what role do tannins play in aging? Tannins are found in the skins and seeds of fruits. Tannins have an astringent, which is the reason for bitter taste, due to which the mouth feels dry. Tannins weaken as they polymerize, or form longer chains, over time. The tannin polymer molecules have a softer feel and taste. Tannins are a member of the same family as colors and flavors.

The following changes are seen as time increases after fermentation:

  1. Aging dynamic
  2. Red wine loses color.
  3. White wine color becomes prominent
  4. Easy fruit aromas combine to create a more nuanced ‘bouquet,’ and secondary characters mingle with the remaining ones.
  5. Acid and tannins dissipate.

Acid and tannins also serve as preservatives.

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As mentioned above different aging time is set for different wines. And also many other factors affect aging in different ways. Red wine is mostly benefited from aging. As white and rose wines have more of a ‘set-in-stone’ aging process and do not benefit much from further aging. Tempranillo, Aglianico, and Nebbiolo are the wines that need an aging time of 20 years.

It has also been found using a screw cap or cork can affect the aging accordingly. Wines closed with a cork and are never fully sealed can help oxygen to enter the bottle. This can help the wine to get better and mature faster. 

Conclusion

Though making wine might sound simple, it is not everybody’s cup of tea. It requires some level of expertise and lots of patience. Expertise is needed as it is important to know the importance of aging and the time needed for aging each type of wine. Just knowing something will not changing things but implementing the same would.

Knowing about making wine which includes the process of aging is not sufficient, without losing patience waiting till the aging period is completed is mandatory. Some either out of anxiety or without patience tend to taste the wine before the aging period. As it is always said that waiting pays off. In the same way, waiting to drink the wine till the aging period is completed is necessary.  

References

  1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/eb008580/full/html
  2. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1525/9780520961296/html
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