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The aromas of the grape must

Continuing our journey through the discovery of the origins of wine aromas, we find ourselves now in the winery, where the rest of the magic continues. Here, it's a real party for our noses, as aromas are now booming.

The grapes have been harvested and it's finally time to transform them into wine.

Nancy foot pressing some grapes

As we have seen in the previous article, what stands between grapes and wine is the alcoholic fermentation and in order to start this fermentation we need to extract the grape must, which in white winemaking is mainly composed by the grape juice alone, while in the case of red winemaking the grape must is composed by juice, skins, seeds and sometimes even the stems.

Now, if we imagine ourselves smelling different types of grape musts, produced from different grape varieties, we will notice that the musts obtained from aromatic varieties (Moscato, Gewürztraminer etc.), keep their characteristic aromas, while musts obtained from non aromatic varieties show only slightly herbaceous notes, like the ones we can smell when we pass by a freshly mowed grass.

According to this, and continuing the discovery of the must aromas, we can classify the musts according to their aroma. As said, the main differentiation is between aromatic and non aromatic grapes musts. But we can go deeper.

Aromatic grape musts can be further divided into thee categories: musts with floral aromas (obtained from varieties such as Moscato and Gewürztraminer); musts with vegetal aromas that remind of green pepper and which amplify the natural herbaceous aromas present in all the grape musts due to the crashing of the grapes (obtained from varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc) and musts with silent aromas, which after fermentation dominate completely the herbaceous aromas produced during the pressing (varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir).

So next time that you will be in a winery and the harvest will be ongoing, try to remember this and maybe ask the winemaker what variety is being pressed. And don't forget to ask to smell and taste the grape must that has been just pressed!

It's an amazing experience!


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