A Sense of Wine

A Sense of Wine is Wine Sense's journal of new products, techniques and behind the scenes info for those who love to make wine. The authors are the Wine Sense staff. You will be familiar with them as the friendly faces that serve you whenever you stop by one of the stores. Join us as we share our insights on new procucts, advice and our experiences. Please feel free to comment on any posts- we look forward to your input!

February 2013


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Grape Skins- Count Me In!

February 8, 2013

MikeThe sun is rising in Napa Valley and the harvest is already in full swing! Harvesting early in the morning has many benefits, keeping the grapes cool so they do not begin to ferment naturally, keeping workers cool and it requires less energy to bring the temperature down for maceration. So what is maceration, you ask?

In technical terms. this is the process where phenolic materials of the grape are leached into the must. Leaving scientific terms aside, it is the process in which red wine receives it colour and tannins. What does this mean to me, you ask? First of all, you ask a lot of questions!

All kidding aside, you may have noticed that more of our kits are beginning to include crushed grape skins.  I mean it makes sense, Red Grape Skins.tifdoes it not? Commercial wineries use maceration to produce deep coloured reds with strong, yet balanced tannins and an increased body and flavour profile. Maceration is also used in the production of a large numberer of Rosé wines.

Grape skins will help to maximize flavour and colour along with increased tannin, which is helpful with ageing. The finished wine will have more body and may age more gracefully. In the end, this will make a superior wine.

There is very little extra work involved with grape skins, and the pros definitely outweigh the cons! Whether you keep your skins in the mesh bag or dump them directly into your fermentor is entirely your choice. I found it easier to keep them in the mesh bag. You get great extraction and it is easier to clean up. 

So, whether you are looking for an improvement on your four week kit or you prefer a premium six week kit, try a wine kit with grape skins! You will thank me in the end.


Mike, Manager (Wine Sense- Southdale Square)

Filed under: General by WineSense

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