White wine

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1. General Flowsheet of red wine production

White wine.JPG

Figure 1: Production of white wine.

2. Description of techniques, methods and equipment

For white wine the juice is separated from seeds and skins shortly after crushing and before fermentation begins. This measure limits the uptake of most grape flavorants (aroma) and yields an almost colourless wine. Because of this white wines generally are milder tasting and may come in sweet and semisweet styles.

Best known white cultivars

  • Chardonnay
  • Müller-Thurgau
  • Muscat blanc
  • Parellada
  • Pinot gris/Pinot blanc
  • Riesling
  • Sauvignon blanc
  • Traminer

Processing of white wine

  • Acceptance of grapes

After harvesting the grapes are transported to the press room, preferably in an uncrushed state to prevent undesirable excessive extraction of tannins from the stems and seeds. There they are weighed and crushed.

  • Pressing

The grapes are often stemmed before crushing. The crushed grapes are then transported into the press or into storage tanks. The untreated or treated grapes can be pressed in discontinuously operating horizontal presses or in pneumatic presses where grapes are pressed by air pressure. Freshly pressed musts still contain insoluble parts of the cellular tissue, microorganisms, crystal compounds, dirt particles… So they have to be clarified by sedimentation, centrifugation or defecation.

  • Alcoholic fermentation

It is the most important step in the wine processing. One of its most important byproducts is glycerol which is an important factor in forming the body of the wine. Heat is generated during fermentation of the must and in the case of large volumes the must has to be cooled. If fermentation is finished the y east settles on the tank bottom.

  • Molalactic Fermentation

After alcoholic fermentation and a long storage time of several weeks, low acidity wines with a pH above 3.3 often experience a decrease in the acid content.

  • Development

After fermentation the finishing and aging processes follow. They involve the treatment of the wine with the aim of supporting the natural maturation and clarification processes and to protect the wine from undesirable changes. In the young wine a number of different processes take place; it develops a peak, termed maturity stored in a tank or in bottles. If the maturity peak is exceeded, the wine becomes firne (positive quality), but if the development continues the wine will become maderized and oxidized (decreasing quality).

  • Racking

By this is meant the separation of lees from the wine by decantation. But also after decantation the wine contains invisible colloidal dissolved substances and it has to be clarified by centrifugation or filtration before bottling.

  • Finning

The invisible particles in the wine are normally electrically negative charged. For removing them, particles with the opposite charge are added and the particle repulsion is neutralized. Particles form larger aggregates that sink to the bottom or float to the top.

  • Sulfting

Before the filtration can take place a certain concentration of sulfurous acid has to be adjusted in the wine. It is ensured by addition of Sulfur dioxide. This step has several advantages: storage characteristics are improved, it inhibt the growth or even kill certain bacteria and also prevent browning and oxidation reactions, certain substances are reduced and taste is improved.

  • Stabilization

After fining of the wine to protect it against changes, a further stabilization is necessary. The wine is cooled down to a certain temperature and a certain period to inhibit a crystalline precipitation. Before bottling the wine has to be completely clarified using filters to remove remaining particles.

  • Bottling

After development of the wine in the cellar, it has to be chemically, biologically and physically stable (bottle ripe). Especially white wines have to be optically clear. A bottling line itself generally consists of several technical equipment and machines for cleaning the bottles, bottling, corking, capsuling, labelling, packing and palleting.

3. Temperature ranges and other parameters (table)

White wine2.JPG

4. Benchmark data

No information is available.


a) Changes in the process
No information is available.
b) Changes in the energy distribution system
No information is available.
c) Changes in the heat supply system
No information is available.


Critical issues concerning the possible solar integration

Reference: Caballero, B., Finglas, P., Trugo, L.: Encyclopedia of food science and nutrition, Academic Pr. Inc., 2003, pages 6189-6202


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