Types of Wine

“Colavita’s Northern Special” Brand

For true varietal color and flavor in your wine
Also “Sunniland, Continente, & Medaglia D’oro” Brand Grapes

 

VARIETALS

In California a varietal wine is a wine that must be made with at least 75% of the grape that the wine is named.

BLENDS

A blend is a wine made from at least two varieties of grapes with no variety being over 75% of the blend.

TYPES OF WINE

Burgundy is a dry, dark colored, full-bodied red wine that is usually fermented on the skins until all the sugar is fermented. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah are considered Burgundy type grapes.

Claret or Bordeaux is a red wine, not too dark in color with a medium body, good fruit flavor and bouquet. Depending on the color desired most fermentation occurs on the skins. They can have a slight hint of sweetness. Chianti and Zinfandel are considered claret type wines.

Rose or Blush is made from red grapes that are lightly pressed right after crushing or a wine made with a blend of mostly white grapes and a few red grapes for coloring. It can be either a sweet or dry wine depending when the fermentation is stopped or with the addition of sugar.

White wine is usually made from white grapes. The grapes are crushed and immediately pressed. No fermentation occurs on the skins. It can be either a sweet or dry wine depending upon length of fermentation and the amount of residual sugar. The white varieties are listed separately and most varieties can be blended with each other.

Champagne or Sparkling Reds can be made from any of the above wines that are re-fermented with the addition of sugar or carbonation.

Dessert or Sweet Wines have various spices, sugar and alcohol added to the finished dry wine.

CALIFORNIA WINE GRAPE BASICS

A proper balance of alcohol, acid and PH level is essential to make a fine wine that will not spoil. A lot of California grapes tend to be sweet enough to make a sufficient amount of alcohol but they tend to have low acid levels. If you do not use various commercial acid additives, blend into the wine a high acid variety. Always use some sort of bisulfate when you are making the wine and each time you are racking or bottling. Without bisulfate the wine will probably oxidize (turn brownish with a sherry taste) or turn acidic (vinegary). Another good practice is to use commercial yeast to ferment your wine. Commercial yeast that is made for the type of wine you desire will help the grapes produce that wine. In the process of using commercial yeast you will also destroy any bad yeast spores that are present.