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Latin word from the Greek for a vessel with two handles. Although the term may refer sometimes to fine wares, it is normally used to describe the large pottery containers which were used for the bulk transport of many goods and luquids ind the Mediterranean world.
Commonly used term for controlled origin and quality designations for wine, often following the example of the French Appellation Contrôlée (AC). They are always based on a geographical definition.
French word for the important operation in the production of fine wines of deciding which lots will be assembled to make the final blend. It plays a crucial role in sparkling winemaking when some cuvées may be assembled from several hunderd different components.
Winemaking technique of fermenting grape juice or must in small barrels rather than in a larger fermentation vessel. The technique is used principally for white wines because of the difficulty of extracting through a barrel's small bung-hole the mass of skins and seeds which necessarily remains after red wine fermentation.
Is the winemaking operation of storing a fermented wine in wooden barrels to create ideal conditions for the components of the wine to evolve and so that the wood imparts some oak flavour.
Before concrete, stainless steel, and other inert materials replaced wood as the most common material for wine fermentation vessels and storage containers in the 1960s, each wine region had ist own legion of barrel types. Even today such terms as feuillette, tonneau, and fudre may be used to measure volumes of wine long after the actual containers themselves have been abandoned.
Blanc de Blancs
French for "white of whites", may justifiably be used to describe white wines made from pale-skinned grapes. As the great majority of them are. A real significance only when used for white sparkling wines.
Is a French synonm for Sauvignon Blanc, notably in Pouilly-sur-Loire, centre of the Pouilly-Fumé, or Blanc Fumé de Pouilly, appellation, many of whose aromatic dry whites do indeed have a smoky, if not exactly smoked, perfume.
Coupage in French, is a practice that was once more distrusted than understood. In fact almost all of the world's finest wines are made by blending the contents of different vats and different barrels.
Small town in the Tuscan Maremma made famous by Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, who planted Cabernet Sauvignon vines for a house wine a early as the 1949s an his San Guido estate, labelling the resulting wine Sassicaia.
Important French port on the Garonne River. Bordeaux gives ist name to a wine region that includes the vineyards of the Gironde département and, as such, the wine region that produces more top -quality wine than any other region.
The process of deliberately maturing a wine after bottling, whether for a few weeks as a conscious effort on the part of the bottler to allow the wine to recover from bottle sickness or, in the case of very fine wines, for many years in order to allow the wine to mature.
In the dialect of the north west Italian region of Piemonte, indicates the highest part of an elevation in the landscapeor, in particular, a vineyard with a steep gradient at the top of a hill.
Red winemaking process which transforms a small amount of sugar in grapes which are uncrushed to ethanol, without the intervention of yeasts, it is used typically to produce light-bodied, brightly coloured, fruity red wines for early consumption, most famously but by no means exclusively in the Beaujolais region of France.
Common winemaking practice, named after its French promulgator Jean-Antoine Chaptal, whereby the final alcoholic strength of a wine is increased by addition of sugar to the grape juice or must, before and/or during fermentation, although if it is added before, the higher sugar level will make it harder for the yeast to multiply.
The most important, and variable, appellation in the southern Rhône in terms of quality, producing mainly rich, spicy, full-bodied red wines which can be some of the most alluring expressions of warm-climate viticulture, but can also be either impossibly tannic or disappointingly jammy.
A common plant acid, abundant in some fleshy fruits such as lemons, but rare in grapes. The grape is unusual among fruits in that its major acid is tartaric acid, rather than citric acid, whose concentration in the juice of most grape varieties is only about one-twentieth that of tartaric acid.
The heart of the Burgundy wine region in eastern France in the form of an escarpment supporting a narrow band of vineyards for nearly 50km/30miles southwards from Dijon. Viticulturally it is divided into two sectors, the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune.
Spanish term used both to describe the process of ageing a wine and also for the youngest officially recognized category of a wood-matured wine. A crianza wine must have spent a minimum of six months in cask.
The result of breeding a new variety by crossing two vine varieties. If the varieties are of the same species, usually the European vinifera species, then the result may also be knowm a an intraspecific cross - Müller-Thurgau would be one example.
Widely used in filtration, is a naturally occuring, highly porous, chalky textured sedimentary rock made mainly of silica and consisting of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae.
Stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, a legal category established in Italy in 1963 for its highest-quality wines, at the same time as its DOC was created as an Italian version of the French appellation contrôllée.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
The most prestigious wine estate in Burgundy, based in Vosne-Romanée. The Domaine, as it is frequently called, is co-owned by the de Villaine and Leroy families and produces only Grand Cru wines.
The final addition to a sparkling wine which may top up a bottle in the case of traditional method wines, and also determines the sweeteness, or residual sugar, of the finished wine. A mixture of wine and sugar syrup.
Downy mildew attacks all green parts of the vine and young leaves are particularly susceptible. When severly affected, leaves will drop off. The loss of leaves reduces photosynthesis and thus causes delays in fruit ripening and, typically, levels of fruit sugars, vine reserves of carbohydrates, and anthocyanins are depressed.
Literally "individual site" in the wine regions of Germany. Almost all of Germany's vineyards are officially registered as one of these approximately 2600 Einzellagen, which can vary in size from a fraction of 1 ha to more than 200 ha/494 acres. As in Burgundy, for example, the Einzellagen may be divided among many different owners.
Wine trade term, French in origine, for wine sold as futures before being bottled. It comes from the word primeur. Cask samples of wines have customarily been shown in the spring following the vintage.
Term used on labels which has very specific meaning in the Unitet States, where an estate-bottled wine must come from the winery's own vineyards or those on which the winery has a long lease; both vineyards and winery must be in the geographical area specified an the label.
Winemaking process with the aim of clarification and stabilization of a wine whereby a fining agent, one of a range of special materials, is added to coagulate or adsorb and precipitate quickly the colloids suspended in it.
French term used to describe grapes which have been dried, or partially dried, before fermentation to increase the sugar content. It is used most commonly in Switzerland and occasionally in the Valle d'Aosta.
Unregulated term of approbation referring to German Rieslings. Use of gold capsules to signify superior quality was a response, initially and still primarily in the Mosel, to the 1971 German Wine Law's prohibition on labels of traditional terms such as Cabinet, feine, feinste, or hochfeinste.
Sometimes known as grey mould and sometimes just rot, the malevolent form of botrytis bunch rot and one of the most harmful of the fungal disease that attack vines. In this undesirable bunch rot form, the botrytis cinerea fungus rapidly spreads throughout the berry flesh and the skin breaks down.
The higher, southern part of the Médoc district of Bordeaux which includes the world-famous communes of Margaux, Pauillac, St-Estèphe and St-Julien, as well as the less glamorous ones of Listrac and Moulis.
Affects vines when air temperatures are high. Very high daytime temperatures, of more than 40°C/104°F, cause the vine to "shut down", or virtually cease photosynthesis, as the enzymes responsible can no longer work. High temperatures also lead to water stress, especially when accompained by bright sunshine, low humidity, and strong, dry winds.
Chemicals applied to vineyards to control the growth of weeds. They may be either pre-emergent (or residual) or post-emergent (knockdowm). The latter group comprises two types, contact and syntemic herbicides. Residual herbicides act against germinating seedlings of the weeds, while post-emergent herbicides are applied only to the strip of ground directly under the vine, and weeds growing between the rows are controlled by cultivation or mowing.
The most famous northern Rhône appellation of all, producing extremely limited quantities of seriously long-lived reds and about a third as much full-bodied dry white wine which some believe is even more distinguished. Hermitage was one of France's most famous wines in the 18th and 19th centuries when the name alone was sufficient to justify prices higher than any wine other than a first growth bordeaux.
In common viticultural terms, the offspring of two varieties of different species, as distinct from a cross between two varieties of the same species, which is also known as an intraspecific cross.
Direct Anglicization of the German Eiswein, sweet wine made from ripe grapes picked when frozen on the vine and pressed so that water crystals remain in the press and the sugar content of the resulting wine is increased. This sort of true ice wine is a speciality of Canada, where it is written Icewine. The word Icewine has been trademarked by VQA Canada which imposes the world's most stringent standards on the production. In Ontario, grapes for Icewine must have reached alt least 35° Brix. Residual sugar at bottling must be at least 125 g/l.
Or insert, planks of wood, usually oak, placed in a stainless steel tank and held in position by a metal framework, are a way of imparting oak flavour to wine more cheaply than by fermenting or ageing in barrels since the staves are easily replaced.
IP was developed as a concept in 1974, and major development has come from France, Germany and Switzerland. IP emphasizes a holistic approach to viticulture, by considering the vineyard as an "agro-ecosystem". The reduction of chemical inputs, especially nitrogen fertilizer and broad spectrum insecticides, is a first step.
One of six so-called Prädikats applying to German wine that has not been chaptalized, and designating-depending on growing region and grape variety-must weights between 67 and 82° Oechsle. As such, Kabinett designates the lightest end of the German wine spectrum, and Mosel Kabinetts that have residual sugar are often as low as 7 or 8% alcohol.
Is used in much the same way as the word cave in French, for any sort of wine-producing premises wheather above or below ground. A German wine specifying a Keller rather than a Weingut on the label is usually the produce of a merchant rather than an estate. In Alto Adige, the Italian Tyrol, Kellereigenossenschaft is a common name for one of the many wine co-operatives.
Increasingly popular and currently fashionable winemaking practice known to the Ancient Romans whereby newly fermented wine is deliberately left in contact with the lees. This period of lees contact may take place in any container, from a bottle to a large tank or vat-although a small oak barrel is the most common location for lees contact.
Or bâtonnage, as it is called in French, is the once fashionable winemaking operation of mixing up the lees in a barrel, cask, tank or vat with the wine resting on them. It is an optional addition to the process of lees contact and is often employed, particularly for whites which have undergone barrel fermentation. Usually done with a stick. Stirring up the lees in the barrel also effects oak flavour.
An expression for that part of the Bordeaux wine region that is on the left bank of the river Garonne. It includes, travelling down river, Graves, Sauternes, Barsac, Pessac-Léognan, Médoc and all the appellations of the Médoc.
An accumulation of clay and silt particles that have been deposited by the wind. Loess is typically pale-coloured, unstratified, and loosely cemented by calcium carbonate. Favoured for viticulture because it is porous, permeable, readily warmed and easily penetrated by roots.
Ancient word for steeping a material in liquid with or without a kneading action to separate the softened parts of the material from the harder ones. This important process in red winemaking involves extracion of the phenolics or anthocyanins, other glycosides, including flavour precursors from the grape skins, seeds, and stem fragments into the juice or new wine.
One of the two principal organic acids of grapes and wines. Ist name comes from malum, Latin for apple, the fruit in which it was first identified. Present in nearly all fruits and berries.
The general French term both for grape pomace and, more widely, for pomace brandy. It is used to distinguish the product from a fine, which may be made by distilling local wine. Most traditional wine regions make marc from the pomace, grape skins, and pips left after pressing.
Is just west of, and very much smaller than, the much more famous Sancerre, near the city of Bourges, producing a not dissimilar range of red, white, and rosé wines which can often offer better value.
Most important village in the Côte Chalonnaise district of Burgundy. While most of the production is in red wines made from Pinot Noir, a small quantity of unusually scented white wine from Chardonnay is also made.
French term for the intricate traditional method described in detail in sparkling winemaking. From 1994 the term was outlawed by EU authorities in favour of one of the following: méthode traditionelle; méthode classique; méthode traditionelle classique; fermented in this bottle and traditional method.
Large and prosperous village in the Côte de Beaune district of Burgundy's Côte d'Or producing mostly white wines from the Chardonnay grape. Although Meursault contains no Grand Cru vineyards, the quality of white burgundy from Meursault's best Premier Crus is rarely surpassed.
Widely misused term meaning strictly the climate within a defined and usually very restricted space or position. In viticulture, it might be at specific positions between rows of vines, or distances above the ground.
Important village in the Côte de Nuits district of Burgundy producing red wines from Pinot Noir grapes. Morey suffers, perhaps unfairly, in comparison with ist neighbours Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin beacuse its wines are usually described as being lighter versions of Gevrey or firmer than Chambolle, according to which side of the village they are located.
Long, loosely defined strip of tuskan coastline south of Livorno extending southwards through the province of Grosseto. Production of bottled wine is consequently a recent phenomenon and quality wine can be said to date from the first bottles of Sassicaia in the 1970s, although the zone of Morellino di Scansano, enjoyed a certain reputation in the past.
Is the name used by winemakers for a thick liquid that is neither grape juice nor wine but the intermediate, a mixture of grape juice. Stem fragments, grape skins, seeds, and pulp that comes from the crusher-destemmer that smashes grapes at the start of the winemaking process.
Term much used in the wine world, initially smoewhat patronizingly but with increasing admiration in the last quarter of the 20th century as the New World's share of global exports rose from 3 to 23%, to distinguish the colonies established as a result of the longer voyages in the 15th century.
Sometimes simply as botrytis, is the benevolent form of botrytis bunch rot, in which the Botrytis cinerea fungus attacks ripe, undamaged white wine grapes and, given the right weather, can result in extremely sweet grapes.
Nuits, Côte de
Named after the principal town of Nuits-St-Georges, this is the northern half of the escarpment of the Côte d'Or, producing the greatest red wines of Burgundy, from the Pinot Noir grape, and very occasional white wines.
Is hard and supple, and most oaks have watertight wood, which has the simple advantage over other wood types used for cooperage of displaying a natural affinity with wine, imparting qualities and flavours that today's consumers appreciate as enhancing or complementing those of many wines.
Is Europe and the rest of the Mediterranean basin such as the Near East and North Africa. The term is used solely in contrast to the New World, the Old World having little sense of homogeneity. Old World techniques in vineyard and cellar have relied more on tradition and less on science than in the New World.
Contrasts with protective and reductive winemaking in that the winemaker deliberately exposes the wine to oxygen at various stages in the winemaking process in order to encourage certain reactions and achieve a particular style of wine. Oloroso Sherry being an extreme example.
French word for the process by which passerillé grapes are dried, shrivelled, or raisined on the vine, concentrating the sugar in grapes-an alternative to wines whose sugars have been concentrated by botrytis.
Very large group of highly reactive chemical compounds of which phenol is the basic building block. These include many natural colour pigments such as the anthocyanins of fruit and dark-skinned grapes, most natural vegetable tannins such as occur in grapes, and many flavour compounds.
Or premier cru classé, is a cru judged of the first rank, usually according to some official classification. The direct translation of the French term premier cru, much used in the context of Bordeaux, is first growth. In Burgundy, scores of vineyards are designated premiers crus, capable of producing wine distinctly superior to village wine but not quite so great as the produce of the grands crus.
Extremely popular sparkling wine made in the region of Veneto, located north-east of Italy. The DOC was once an IGT. To ensure that no one outside the region was able to jump on the luctrative Prosecco bandwagon, the grape variety was renamed Glera in 2009, and Prosecco was registered as a protected denomination of origin DOC.
Qualitätswein is what POD wines are called in German. This is Germany's largest and lowest wine category and in practice includes all those wines once known as QbA. The grapes must originate in one of Germany's 13 official wine regions and reach minimum must weights.
Silicon dioxide (silica), a very common rock-forming mineral. It is seen as glassy, colourless grains in rocks such as granite and sandstone, producing sandy soils of low fertility. It also occurs as opaque white veins filling gashes in bedrocks, which weathering loosens into fragments that become the milky white pebbles seen in many vineyards soils.
Imprecise tasting term used in many languages for a distinctive style of wine, often fortified wine or vin doux naturel, achieved by deliberately maderizing the wine by exposing it to oxygen and/or heat.
Distinctive category of north-east Italian dried-grape wines, a historic speciality of Veneto. The most common forms of Recioto are sweet red Recioto della Valpolicella and the rare sweet white Recioto di Soave and Recioto di Gambellara.
Increasingly fashionable and aims at reducing the exposure of must and wine to oxygen in the winery by minimizing or eliminating practices such as racking, lees stirring, and the use of new oak barrels.
An instrument for measuring a refractive index, which is related to the amount by which the angle of a light wave is changed when passing through the boundary between two media. The amount of refraction is a convenient way to measure solute concentration of a solution and is widely used in viticultural and winemaking to follow the ripeness of grapes and changes during vinification.
French word for various systems of pumping over. In winemaking terms it is the pumping of the liquid in the fermentation tank over the cap of skins and solids during the red wine fermentation.
Is a term liberally used by wine producers for various bottlings. It should be quite literally reserved itself, for superior wines, but, unlike Reserva and Riserva, the English term Reserve has few controls on ist use.
Occasionally RS, the total quantity of sugars remaining unfermented in the finished wine. This may include both fermentable sugars, mainly glucose and fructose, which have for some reason remained unconverted to alcohol during fermentation, and small amounts of those few sugars which are not readily fermented by typical wine yeast.
An expression much used of that part of the Bordeaux wine region that is on the right bank, or north, of the river Dordogne. It includes, travelling down river, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, Francs Côtes de Bordeaux, St-Émilion and its satellite appellations, Pomerol and Lalande-de-Pomerol, Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac, Bourg, and Blaye.
Italian term meaning literally "repassed", for the technique of adding extra flavour, and alcohol, to Valpolicella by refermenting the young wine on the unpressed skins of Amarone wines after these dried-grape wines have finished their fermentation in the spring, and racked off.
Nebulous Italian term usually denoting a wine given extended ageing before release, and suggesting a higher quality, and a higher percentage of alcohol than the normal version of the same wine. The ageing requirement for Riservas varies from DOC to DOC, but normally is a minimum of one year, up to 62 months for Barolo Riserva. In many cases this must include a period in cask, aswell as in bottle.
French term meaning "bled" for a winemaking technique which results in a rosé wine made by running off, or "bleeding", a certain amount of free-run juice from just-crushed dark-skinned grapes after a short, prefermentation maceration.
Dramatically situated hilltop town on the left bank of the upper Loire which lends ist name to one of the Loire's most famous, and famously variable, wines: racy, pungent, dry white Sauvignon Blanc.
The special distinction of this region embedded within the Graves distric south of Bordeaux is that it is dedicated, in a way unmatched by any other wine region, to the production of unfortified, sweet, white wine.
Spring and summer time viticultural practice of placing vine shoots in the desierd position to assist in trimming, leaf removal, and harvest operations, and to facilitate the control of vine diseases and vine pests.
The most valuable category of white wines made from the ripest grapes on the best sites of the Wachau in Austria. The category is named after the green lizard that basks in the sun on the Wachau's steep stone terraces above the river Danube. Alcohol levels in the unchaptalized Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings that qualify must be more than 12.5%.
System of fractional blending used most commonly in Jerez for maintaining the consistency of a style of Sherry which takes ist name from those barrels closest to the suelo, or floor, from which the final blend was customarily drawn.
Widely used French term for a specialist wine waiter or wine steward. The sommelier's job is to ensure that any wine ordered is served correctly and, ideally, to advise on the individual characteristics of every wine on the establishment's wine list and on food and wine matching.
Village in the Côte de Beaune district of Burgundy's Côte d'Or tucked out of the limelight between Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet. A high production, two-thirds, of the vineyards area is designated premier cru, notably Les Charmois, La Chantenière, En Remilly and Les Murgers Dents de Chien.
The lightest in terms of must weight and alcohol among the trio of dry white wine categories in Austria's Wachau region-specifically for unchaptalaized grapes of 73 to 83° Oechsle which result in wines no more than 11% alcohol. The name comes from a feathery grass species indigenous to the local vineyard terraces.
An element that is extremely important in wine production. The addition of sulfur dioxide during crushing and pressing deactivates enzymes that catalyse oxidation, which leads to juice browning and modification of aromas and flavours, which is why it is often added to freshly picked grapes in the salt form of metabisulfite. (The compound is widely, often more liberally, used in the preparation of other foods and drinks, particularly in fruit juices and dried fruits).
Italian term applied to DOC wines which are deemed superior because of their higher minimum alcoholic strength, usually by a half or one per cent, a longer period of ageing before commercial release, or a lower maximum permited yield, or all three.
The general term used by winemakers to describe the harmless crystalline deposits that separate from wines during fermentation and ageing. The principal component of this deposit is potassium acid tartrate, the potassium salt of tartaric acid, which has therefore given rise to the name.
Red-brown loam or clay directly over well-drained limestone found typically in regions with a mediterranean climate. Such soils are found in southern Europe, North Africa and parts of Australia.
Seminal central Italian wine first produced by the house of Antinori as a single-vineyard Chianti Classico in the 1970 vintage and then as a ground-breaking vino da tavola in the 1971 vintage.
According to the 2005 wine legislation, the following types of wine are produced in Tokaj: Dry and semi-dry; These are wines vinified from overripe grapes and matured only briefly. Matured dry wines; botrytis is undesirable. Szamorodni; Comparable to that of Beerenauslese. They are fermented dry or sweet and subjected to subtle maturation under a film-forming yeast. Very like the Jura's Vin Jaune. Sweet Aszù wines; Traditionally, the concentration of wines is measured by the number of puttonyos of Aszù grapes. Essencia; The free-run juice of hand-picked botrytized berries with a sugar content of over 450g / l also 800g and more. Essencia takes years to achieve a modest alcohol level of 4-5%.
Methods of vine training, which vary considerably around the world. The word describes the actions of pruning in winter and summer, and shoot and cane placement, so that the vine's trunk, arms, and cordons and buds are appropriately located on the trellis system.
Is French for "old vines". The term is used widely on wine labels-as is vinhas velhas (Portugal), alte Reben (Germany)-in the hope that potential buyers are aware that wine quality is often associated with senior vine age.
Vin des Glaciers
Also known as Vin du Glacier or Gletscherwein in German, is a local speciality in the Val Anniviers near Sierre in the Valais in Switzerland. The white wine, traditionally made of the now obscure Rèze vine, comes from communally cultivated vines and is stored at high elevations in casks refilled just once a year on a solera system.
vin doux naturel
Translates directly from French as a wine that is naturally sweet. Vins doux naturels are made by mutage, by artificially arresting the conversion of grape sugar to alcohol by adding spirit before fermentation is complete.
Meaning literally "yellow wine" in French, extraordinary style of wine made in France, mainly in the Jura region, using a technique similar to that used for making Sherry but without fortification.
Of a wine is ist total concentration of volatile acids, those naturally occuring organic acids of wines that are separable by distillation. Wine's most common volatile acid by far is acetic acid (more than 96%).
Attractive small village in the Côte de Beaune district of Burgundy's Côte d'Or producing elegant red wines from Pinot Noir. The wines of Volnay were celebratet under the ancien régime for their delicacy.
Small village in the Côte de Nuits district of Burgundy producing red wines from the Pinot Noir grape. The name is derived from the diminutive of Vouge, a small stream flowing through the village. The village's fame rests squarely with the 50.6 ha Grand Cru, Clos de Vougeot.
Ultratradaitional method of red wine fermentation in which grape berries are not subjected to destemming. This was the default position before the introduction of the crusher-destemmer. The possible disadvantages are that, unless the stems are vey ripe, i.e. well lignified, and the must is handled very gently, the stems may impart harsh tannins to the wine.
White winemaking technique wheereby the grapes are not subjacted to destemming and bunches of ripe grapes are pressed whole, with the stems used as conduits for what can often be particularly viscous juice.
Microscopic, single-celled fungi, having round to oval cells which reproduce by forming buds, are vital to the alcoholic fermentation process, which, starved of oxygen, transforms grape juice to wine.
Essential element for healthy vine growth. A deficiency of zinc affects the plant's ability to synthesize the hormones auxins, deficiency in which results in a failure of the shoots to grow normally.