Wine Production

Glossary

F

FERMENTATION. The conversion of sugars into alcohol through the action of yeasts.

FERMENTATION LOCK. Device fitted to the top of a tank or barrel to allow escape of carbon dioxide but prevent ingress of air.

FILTRATION. Passing the wine through a medium to remove bacteria and solids. A process that should be undertaken with care so as not to remove flavors.

FINING. Removal of microscopic troublesome matter (colloids) from the wine before bottling. Materials that may be used for fining include bentonite, albumen (egg whites), gelatin and isinglass.

FLASH DETENTE. A technique whereby must is heated to 85 degrees C (185°F) and sent to a high-pressure vacuum chamber where the liquid is vaporized. The grape skins are deconstructed, and the chamber cooled rapidly to 32 degrees C (90°F). The process gives well-colored, fruity red wines with soft tannins.

FLAVONES. Colorless crystalline tricyclic compounds, the derivatives of which are plant pigments.

FLAVONOID. Natural phenols that include anthocyanins, catechins, flavonols, and condensed tannins in grapes and wines. They are responsible for the red colors, much of the brown colors, the astringency, and the known bitterness of wines.

FLOCCULATE. A loose deposit formed from aggregated cells.

FORMAZINE TURBIDITY UNIT. ISO adopted measurement of fine particles in a liquid by the method of light scattering.

FORTIFICATION. The addition of alcohol to certain wines (e.g., Sherry and Port) before, during or after fermentation.

FREE-RUN JUICE. The juice released by a pile of grapes as their skins split under their own weight, before they are mechanically pressed. With white wines, this initial juice is considered to be the highest quality since it has the least amount of contact with bitter elements in the pips, skins and stems.

FRENCH WHITE OAK. The most favored oak for wine casks, Quercus petraea is sourced from prestigious oak forests in France including Allier, Nevers, Troncais, Vosges and Limousin. Recognized for finer grains, high oak tannins and a silky texture it imparts to wines.

FRUCTOSE. One of two primary sugars contained in the pulp of wine grapes (glucose being the other). As the fruit ripens, levels of fructose increase, and it has a sweeter taste than glucose, thus being important in the making of dessert wines.