- 16 December 2011
- Last Updated: 22 November 2012
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Give some body to the wine
Stirring is resuspend the fine lees to give more body to the wine. For example, a stirring every 10 days until the desired result. The wine will lose its texture aqueous (like water) and become thicker. Stirring also helps to develop complex aromas, especially for aging in oak barrels.
This operation is performed for all wines from quality grapes. For low quality grapes this is useless.
For grapes from high yield, winemakers also use stirring. Indeed, these grapes lack of matter and the stirring will give the illusion of a certain consistency (body). During the tasting does not fall into the trap : body must be accompanied by aromas! It should also be noted that stirring causes some oxidation which is not always desired.
For large vats is used a kind of ventilator which agitate the bottom of the vat. For barrels, some winmakers (in Champagne for example) use a "dodine" (not shown on photos): this is a rod of stainless steel with at its end a spatula perforated. I also saw several times the tool presented on the pictures :
Click on pictures to enlarge
the stirring is a sign of quality. Especially for barrels since the operation is manual and time consuming. Ask questions to show your interest, maybe you'll taste wine directly from oak barrels with the winemaker.