Wine production



CAP. The floating skins in a red wine undergoing fermentation.

CAPSULE. Once lead, now foil or plastic-film, which covers and proteas the cork and bottle neck. Wax is also sometimes used, particularly for Vintage Port.

CARBON. Carbon can be used to remove off-flavours and odors from wine, to decrease browning or pinking in white wines and to remove color from red wines.

CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2). By-product of fermentation. Carbon dioxide is trapped in wine as bubbles by sparkling winemakers using the traditional, transfer or Charmat methods, and injected into very inexpensive sparkling wines.

CARBONIC MACERATION. Fermentation method using whole bunches of black grapes. Carbonic maceration is a way of fermenting red wine that differs from the standard, yeast-fueled fermentation. Unlike standard fermentation, in which yeast is manually or naturally added to grape must to convert sugar into alcohol, carbonic maceration does not use yeast to start fermentation..

CASE. A standard wine case contains 12 bottles, 750 mL each, and therefore a total of 9 liters.

CASEIN. Casein is the principal protein in milk. It is used mainly for fining white wine and Sherries to reduce the level of phenolic compounds associated with bitterness and browning.

CASK. Wooden container (usually cylindrical) used for fermenting or maturing wine and made in varying sizes. Usually made from various types of oak, according to the tradition of the region.

CASSE. From the French: breakage. A solid breaking out of solution. A precipitate.

CATALYST. A substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a faster rate but does not take part in the reaction.

CENTRIFUGE. Machine used to separate must or wine from the lees or other sol ids after fermentation.

CHAPEAU. The floating layer of grape skins produced during fermentation of red wines.

CHAPTALIZATION. The addition of sucrose or concentrated grape juice to the must or the juice in the early stages of fermentation to increase the alcohol level. Common in northern European countries, where the cold climates may keep grapes from ripening, but forbidden in southern Europe (including southern France and all of Italy) and California.

CLARIFICATION. A winemaking process involving the fining and filtration of wine to remove suspended solids and reduce turbidity.

CODEX. An international directory compiled by OIV detailing the chemical organic and gas products permitted for the making and storage of wines.

COLD SOAK. Pre-fermentation cold maceration that involves aqueous extraction as opposed to alcoholic extraction of compounds from fresh pulp, skins and seeds into the must. Better color, increased aromatics and fruitier wines are the aim.

COLD STABILIZATION. A winemaking process where wine is chilled to near freezing temperatures for several weeks to encourage the precipitation of tartrate crystals.

COLLOIDS. Ultramicroscopic particles that do not settle out and are not removed by filtration, and so may cause haze in wine.

COMPLEX. A substance formed by the loose association of two or more chemical compounds.

COMPOUND. A substance that can be decomposed into its constituent elements by means of a chemical reaction.

CONCENTRATED GRAPE MUST. Grape juice that has been reduced to 20 percent of its volume by heating. If rectified, it has also had its acidity neutralized. An alternative to using sugar for chaptalization.

COOPERAGE. Winery containers generally. Derived from barrels and other wooden containers made by coopers.

CREAM OF TARTAR. Potassium bitartrate, the predominant crystalline deposit forming in wine.

CRUSHING. Process of breaking open the grapes ready for fermentation.

CRYOEXTRACTION. A process where ripe grapes are picked, cleaned and refrigerated until frozen. The frozen grapes are then pressed, yielding a chilled must with high, concentrated levels of flavor.

CUVAISON. Period of time a red wine spends in contact with its skins.

CUVEE. The word has many different meanings. It can mean the juice from the first pressing for Champagne or a blend and its components of any wine.