What is A Fortified Wine And how Is It Made
Port, Sherry, Madeira, Malaga, Tokay, Frontignan and Frontignac are all fortified wines. In addition they occur to stone island black hooded cotton overshirt be place names in Europe or names for wines from particular locations there so many of these names can’t be used to describe an Australian made product.
Muscat is the one exception and refers to the name of the grape it is made from. The muscat household of grapes consists of: Orange Muscat, Muscat Canelli and Muscat de Frontignan. Muscat could make a lovely white wine but completely different Muscat grapes make the lovely sweet syrupy red fortified wine we know in Australia. Most of the wine produced in Australia during the 1800’s and as much as the mid 1900’s was fortified. Solely the last thirty years have seen table wines overtake fortified wines in quantity produced.
Saying a wine is fortified means the alcohol content is better than what natural yeast fermentation could give. Wines are ‘fortified’ to greater alcohol content by adding brandy or impartial spirit therefore the identify fortified wines.
To make a fortified wine you start with very ripe grapes, typically 25 brix (sugar content) or higher. Low vigour yeast is used to extract maximum colour and tannin from the fermenting grapes. After a couple of days the sugar content of the fermenting grapes is checked every few hours. When the sugar content material drops to round eight brix a brandy or neutral spirit of around 80% alcohol by quantity is used to convey the average alcohol content up to around 18%. The higher alcohol content will kill the yeast and after a day or two the fermentation will stop with a residual sugar level around 6 brix.
In Australia we aren’t allowed to add sugar to wines while the rest of the world can. Alternatively we can adjust the acid levels in our wines while the rest of the world has to be happy with what they end up with.
And, the official line from the Australia Wine and Brandy Corporation is:
Think of port wine and you think of a roaring fire, sweet chocolate and late nights. The original port comes from the oldest demarcated wine region on the earth, the Douro valley in the northeast corner of Portugal. 48 authorized grape varieties can go into a Stone Island News port. The most common are 8 red and 8 white with tinta rariz, tinta francisca, touriga nacional and touriga francesca topping the listing. The standard manufacturing methodology of crushing grapes by foot accounts for round 5% of production. The grapes are walked over for 2 hours in 1 metre deep stone tanks around 10-15 square metres in size. ‘Liberdade’ is declared and then people dance on the grapes for anther two hours. And the rationale they’re crushed by foot is that your toes are mushy. Gentle ft won’t break open the grape seeds and release the bitter contents like some machinery does. The wines are fermented and fortified and stored away in oak barrels for anywhere from 2 to 50 years.
There are 5 common ‘varieties’ of port obtainable:
White port is an easy multi-vintage mix, both candy or dry
Ruby and tawny ports are normally sweet multivintage blends
Dated ports are quality wines, normally of a “tawny” kind, and are marked as to their age
Harvest ports are single vintage and aged no less than 7 years
Vintage port is a single vintage and of the very best stone island black hooded cotton overshirt high quality
The basic Madeira wine comes from the sub-tropical island of Madeira off the coast of Portugal. Prince Henry the Navigator in all probability introduced the first vines to Madeira during initial colonisation of the island. Jesuit priests managed the first wine trading and owned giant properties and vineyards.
The four kinds of grape used to make Madeiras are Malmsey, Bual, Verdelho and Sercial and so they in turn determine the style of Madeira. All Madeiras are fortified with pure grape brandy at the appropriate stage during fermentation, determined by the grape variety and/or fashion being produced. Malmsey and Bual are fortified early for a candy drink. Verdelho and Sercial are fermented later to provide a drier wine.
The basic Madeira flavours are created during the winemaking process when it undergoes an ‘estufagem’ or heating process. After main fermentation and fortification, the wine in oak barrels is slowly heated to approx 45°C for round three months after which slowly cooled and blended.
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