From the vineyard to wine

Red vinification

Stripping and crushing

The vinification of red wines is different from whites as the grapes are pressed immediately after arriving in the cellar. The berries remain in contact with the juice during the alcoholic fermentation to extract the tannins or the colouring agents of the wine which are in the skin. The bunches of Pinot Noir are crushed and partially stripped (or destemmed). 

Stripping consists of separating the berries from the stems which decreases the harvest volume in the press, improves the extraction of tannins and increases the colouring intensity. Crushing consists of splitting the grape skin allowing the inner flesh to be removed and liberating the juice. This sows the harvest in yeast and mostly facilitates the maceration (dissolving the colour and tannins) by boosting the contact between the juice and solid parts. The juice, flesh, skin and seeds therefore constitute the must which is fermented and is only pressed after fermentation.

The vinification of rosé is just a variant with a shorter maceration period.

Vat fermentation

The grapes, regardless whether they are crushed or stemmed, are put into vats for a good maceration of the solid substances. To reinforce the extraction conditions for the colour and tannins, the alcoholic fermentation must be undertaken simultaneously with the maceration.

Alcoholic fermentation

This is the yeasting or chaptalization stage which is mainly used for late vintages.

Devatting, pressing

The vat is emptied by pumping or by flowing. The pomace is then loaded onto the press to extract the « press » wines.

Pressing starts when the draining is finished. The wine is then returned to the vats to finish its alcoholic fermentation.

Malolactic fermentation

After finishing the alcoholic fermentation, wine can undergo a second fermentation called malolactic. The objective is to transform the malic acid to lactic acid, using lactic bacteria. The wines become supple, rounder and are less acidic.

This fermentation usually follows on from alcoholic fermentation but can also happen during the spring when the cellar temperatures rise. This fermentation can last between two to three weeks or even longer. Some choose to block this fermentation to keep the wine even more fruity and fresh. 

Clarifying and filtration

With or without malolactic fermentation, the wines are clarified before being stabilised. Racking clarifies and aerates the wine. 

The filtration come later only for white wines. The Kieselguhr filter or the plate filter is sometimes used, removing the red wine from the larger particles which provides its clarity and finesse.

The red wine is then stored in stainless steel vats, wooden casks or barrels.

Step 7



Before being bottled, it’s necessary to undertake a last organoleptic and analytical characteristic check of the wine by tasting and a final test. 

Bottling requires using perfectly clean equipment and respecting very rigorous hygiene conditions. 

Bottling was made obligatory in the Alsace wine production areas by a law dating from 1972. In addition, all still wines have to be bottled in Flutes of Alsace bottles.