Winemaking process

Oenology is a complex and fascinating field, which remains for those who are interested in it, a true source of discoveries and pleasures. If the vinification of white and rosé wines is different from that of red wines, the basic principles involved in their elaboration are very similar.


Living matter that evolves with age, wine is defined as “a fermented drink made from fresh grapes”. Subject to the variety of climate and the know-how of each winemaker, it changes character each year. The nature of the terroir will also determine, for the same variety, different characters.


Vinification is the transformation of grapes or grape juice into wine by fermentation. The term also refers to all the techniques implemented for this transformation. By fermentation, we mean the transformation of the sugar contained in the grapes into alcohol under the effect of yeasts. Breeding is the set of techniques to lead a wine from its youth to its full development.


Whether the grapes are black or white, the berry pulp is still translucent. If pressed, she immediately gives a white juice, a pink juice a few hours later, and a red juice several days later. With this first white juice, one can obtain by fermentation a white wine. Berry skin (called film) contains many aromatic substances that dissolve in the juice during winemaking. More or less long, maceration during fermentation determines the color of the wine. The shorter the maceration, the clearer the color will be.


After the harvest, the white or black grapes are first scraped in the cellar, which means that the berries are separated from the stalk and sent to the presses. After pressing, the white juice obtained is stored in tanks for a first decantation. During this stage, the juice becomes clear. Then it’s fermentation, the transformation of sugar into alcohol. Under the action of yeasts, the dregs are formed. Under the action of bacteria, begins the malolactic fermentation. It is the process that attenuates the natural acidity of the initial grape juice, and brings flexibility and roundness to the wine. After a few months, the wine becomes completely clear. After filtration, it can be bottled.


Rosé wine is obtained by macerating for a few hours the black skins of the berries in the juice. For its rosé wines, La Cave de Genève uses the method of direct pressing, which allows the elements of the film to enrich the must in color, and brings more structure and aromas. For this type of wine, the fermentation usually takes place in vats.


To obtain a red color, the skins of black grapes must macerate for several days to several weeks in the juice. After the harvest, the black grapes are scraped and sent directly to the fermentation tanks which contain the skins and the juice. Under the action of yeasts, the must goes into fermentation and the sugar is transformed into alcohol. Between 10 and 15 days later, the wine obtained is withdrawn from the fermentation tanks, then stored in other tanks. The marc (solid part remained in the first tank) then enters the press, from which is extracted the wine of press very concentrated in color and in tannins. Subsequently, this wine will eventually be assembled with the first to strengthen the structure. During winemaking, malolactic fermentation takes place. The desired type of wine determines a breeding either in vats (stainless steel) or oak barrels for a period ranging from 10 to 12 months. The wood allows the wine to acquire suppleness and tannins allowing a longer aging. At the end of the aging, the wines of the different barrels and / or vats are assembled, filtered and bottled.


Contrary to popular belief, the effervescence process is natural. The starting wine, or “base wine”, is vinified in a traditional way. Then comes the “foam”. In a hermetically closed vat, an alcoholic fermentation is started by adding sugar and yeasts to the base wine. The fermentation of sugars into alcohol produces a large quantity of carbon dioxide which, being unable to escape, dissolves in the wine. When the foam is complete, the wine is cooled for several days, which will allow optimal solubilization of carbon dioxide. Hence the birth of this fine and light bead, which is the reputation of our range Baccarat fresh and intense aromas.

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