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May 2008
Big Red Wines from Small Barrels
Many winemakers feel that fermenting red wine in small barrels produces better oak integration and color set, softer tannins and rounder, richer flavors.
by John Intardonato
Traditionally, when producing table wine from red grapes, large tanks made from stainless, wood, cement or plastic or those using a combination of materials are generally used. And, until recently, winemakers had three options available to keep the cap submerged in the juice in order to extract color, tannins and flavors: punching down, pumping over and stomping underfoot (now largely out of use). During the past several years, however, a handful of high-end North Coast wineries are trying a dif...
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