MACERATION is a winemaking process whereby the color, flavor and tannins are transferred from the grape skins to the wine/grape juice. Macerate literally means “to soften by soaking”; the grape skins are left to soak in their own juices so that they soften and release the qualities that give wines color, body, mouth-feel and the ability to age.
Red wines are allowed to macerate until fermentation is complete. This means that the wines are rich in color. Rosé wines are allowed to macerate for a short period of time, transferring only a little bit of color into the wine which gives it the soft, pink color. White wines are very rarely allowed to macerate.
Maceration begins the moment grape skins are broken and exposed to heat; it can continue until well after fermentation is complete, depending on when the winemaker decides to separate the juice/young wine from the skins. However, the winemaker stops it when they feel the wine has received all of the color, flavor and tannins needed for the wine style they are creating.
Remember—It’s never too late to visit Flemington’s ONLY HANDS-ON WINERY to make your own Wine!