Old South Winery

     The Best in Everything Muscadine!

The Wine Making Process


Don't get too excited! 

I will give you general information here, no Old South secrets.  


<===== Black muscadines as they fall through the crusher
The best wine starts with fresh fruit. At Old South Winery, the grapes are crushed, pressed and pumped into the cold room tanks within 8-12 hours of harvest! The juice is chilled, % sugar is checked, then yeast and sugar are added to the juice.
Temperature control is top priority in making wine. In fact, early winemakers in the Middle East discovered thousands of years ago that the best wines are made at cave temperature! We don't have caves here in south Mississippi, but we use electricity and the miracle of air conditioning to keep our fermenting juice at cave temperature - 56 degrees.
Fermentation is the process of yeast living, reproducing and dying in the juice, thus converting juice into wine. Fermentation takes about 6-8 weeks, so that by Halloween, fermentation is complete and aging has begun.
Aging takes a minimum of 5 months, but can continue for years if proper temperature is maintained. Wine changes, or ages, all by itself - we don't do anything special to make wine age! However, we keep air from the wine (no oxidation), keep it cool, and don't expose it to light.
To keep your wine fruity, age in the bottle or stainless steel. For some unknown reason, French people began aging wine in wooden barrels, which takes away the fruity taste of the wine. I suspect storing wine in barrels was much cheaper than fragile pottery!
Wine is sensitive to both air, light, and temperature, so take precautions to keep air away from the wine (keep it corked and keep the cork wet); don't expose the wine to light or extreme temperature (no wine should be stored on top of your refrigerator!)
I hope you have found this short explanation satisfactory. Should you need further information on wine making, consult the Internet or books that are readily available.