How to Make Pinot Noir Wine

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Pinot Noir wine is a light- or medium-body red wine with hints of currant and blackberry. Made from a small, thin-skinned grape called the pinot, Pinot Noir is lighter in color than most red wines because of the lower amount of pigment in the thin skin of the grape. It is a very fragile type of grape and only grows in a warm climate with a lot of sunlight and quality drainage. The sweetness of the grape depends on the length of time it is left on the vine. The Burgundy, or Bourgonge, region of France is considered the best area to grow pinot grapes.

Things You'll Need

  • Pinot grapes 1 grape crusher 1 ventilated vat 2 stainless-steel or oak barrels Wine yeast 1 racking siphon Egg whites Salt Water
  • Pick the pinot grapes at a nearby vineyard between February and April. Immediately transfer them to a grape crusher.

  • The grape crusher will crush the grapes and squeeze out their juices, as well as separate the skins and stems from the fruit. Do not try to remove the skins from the juice---it is the skin that gives the wine its red color.

  • Pour the juice into a ventilated vat and add wine-making yeast to start the fermentation process. The yeast will react with the natural sugars in the juice to produce alcohol, and the yeast cells will die when all of the sugar has been converted.

  • When the wine has reached the desired color, move the wine to an oak or stainless-steel barrel. The wine will be stored in a cool, dry location while it ferments for an additional three to four months.

  • Next you must "rack" the wine in order to transfer it away from the dead particles of yeast that separate during the fermentation process. You will know the wine is ready for racking when a layer of sediment forms on the top. Use a siphon to move the wine to another barrel.

  • After the wine "rests" for an additional 20 to 24 months, add egg whites to the barrel to absorb excess tannin.

  • Rack the wine one final time, no later than seven to 10 days after the egg whites are added. After the final racking, the wine is ready for bottling.

Tips & Warnings

  • For a spicier oak flavor in your wine, store wine in an oak barrel. If you do not want this type of flavor, use a stainless-steel vat. When adding egg whites to the wine, use the following guidelines: Add 1 egg white to 100 ML of water mixed with a pinch of salt; use 1 to 2 egg whites per every 100 liters of wine; and stir the wine thoroughly after adding egg white/saltwater mixture.
  • Do not rack your wine too many times. This can lead to over-oxidation, which may ruin the wine's flavor.

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