Glossary

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  • a

  • acid
    Balanced wines with high acidity are often described as crisp or bright, but if the level is too high, it tastes sour and sharp. Low acidity may give a wine a flat, dull flavor and finish.
  • acidification
    Adjustment of pH or titratable acidity of the juice after draining or pressing by acid addition.
  • Acidity
    Acidity is one of the primary components that make up wine. There are four primary acids found in wine: tartaric, lactic, malic, and citric. Acidity is caused by the ripeness of fruit--or lack of--and associated level of acidity at harvest, or the addition of tartaric acid to fermenting must(...)
  • Acidulation
    The winemaking practice of acidulation involves the addition of organically-derived tartaric acid to the must prior to fermentation or to the wine before bottling to balance the overall level of acidity. Acidulation, or acidification as its sometimes called, is legal in New World countries(...)
  • additives
    Additives are often added during winemaking to modify or negate the influence of environmental, harvesting and winemaking factors, which can adversely affect the quality of the resultant wine.
  • aging
    The process of maturing wine, either in bulk or in bottles (or both) to achieve smoothness, mellowness and complexity.
  • Agricultural Preserve Ordinance
    Passed in 1968, the “Ag Preserve” as it is now referred, preserved open space and prevent future over-development by offering a lower tax on agricultural land, based on its ag-value, as opposed to its market value. It also increased the minimum parcel size of those lands from one acre to forty(...)
  • Alcohol
    The term “alcohol” in wine specifically denotes ethanol, a type of alcohol that is the result of fermentation.
  • alcohol by volume
    (abbreviated as ABV, abv, or alc/vol) is a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage (expressed as a volume percent)
  • alcoholic
    A wine with an unbalanced perception of too much alcohol.
  • American Viticultural Area
    A delimited grape-growing region distinguishable by a number of traits, including viticultural features such as soil, climate, elevation, topography, etc., that distinguish it from a nearby area.
  • ampelography
    The study of botany that classifies and identifies grapevines. This is done by comparing the shape and colour of leaves and berries and more recently with the addition of DNA fingerprinting.
  • Amphora
    A large, usually two-handled oval storage jar traditionally made in clay and used for storing and transporting wine and oil.
  • angular
    An angular hits specific places with a high impact and usually has high acidity.
  • annual growth cycle
    The cycle begins with budburst in the spring, culminating in autumn followed by winter dormancy.    
  • anther
    Part of the stamen, the male organ of the flower, that produced the pollen.
  • anthesis
    Otherwise known as flowering - the timing and opening of flowers.
  • anthocyanins
    The pigments that contribute the red and purple colours to their wines.
  • antioxidants
    Any chemical added by the winemaker which impedes oxidation (often ascorbic acid).
  • Appellation
    A legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the grapes grown in the production of wine.
  • appellation controlee
    A French wine name which has been officially defined and protected by law.
  • Appellations
    Geographical indication used to identify where the grapes grown in the production of wine, legally defined and protected.
  • aroma
    The unique smells of a certain grape variety which are commonly associated with a young wine.
  • astringency
    The puckering quality of high tannin wines, which often dries out the mouth.
  • austere
    Usually, the wine has very high acidity and very little fruit flavours. An austere wine is not fruit-forward nor opulent.
  • autolysis
    The decomposition of yeast cells remaining after fermentation which often results in more complex wines with creamier textures.
  • autolytic
    A yeasty taste commonly associated with wines that have been aged for some time on their lees (spent yeast cells)
  • b

  • baked
    A wine with a high alcohol content that displays stewed or baked fruit flavous.
  • Balance
    Balance in a wine is the harmony between all the various elements: the fruit, acids, and tannins. The degree of balance is caused by too much or too little of the aforementioned elements: fruit, acids, and tannin.
  • barnyard
    The wine displays barnyard aromas or related terms like "horsey, manure, animal, etc."
  • barrel
    A hollow cylindrical container, traditionally made of wooden staves bound by wooden or metal hoops. Wine may be fermented or matured inside.
  • basket pressing
    When a winemaker wants to separate the grape skins from the juice or the wine, they use a device called a press. Traditionally a “basket press” was used. A basket press is essentially a cylindrical cage that can be filled with the grape skin and wine mixture, that then allows the wine to drain(...)
  • bâtonnage
    The process of stirring the lees back into the wine following the barrel fermentation of white wines. This imparts a cheesy complexity and a creamy texture.
  • Baume
    Developed by French pharmacist Antoine Baume in 1768, the Baumé scale is a pair of hydrometer scales used to measure the density of various liquids. A way to measure the sugar in grapes.
  • big
    A wine with intense flavor and/or tannins, or one that is high in alcohol.
  • bilateral cordon training
    A vine training system that utilizes two arms, or cordons, extending horizontally from the trunk in two different directions along support wires.
  • bitterness
    An unpleasant taste sensation caused by tannins that is perceived on the back of the tongue.
  • Biturica
    An ancient red grape variety named after the tribe of the Bituriges from Bordeaux.
  • blending
    To produce a wine with better balance and/or consistency, wines made from different grape varieties, regions or vintages are combined.
  • body
    A tactile sensation which describes the palate weight of a wine in the mouth.! Often wines are referred to as light, medium, or full bodied.
  • Bordelais
    A collective noun for people or things from Bordeaux.
  • Botrytis
    The botrytis mold is responsible for many of the world’s great dessert wines including Sauternes, Hungarian Tokaji, and Trockenbeerenauslese from Germany and Austria. Botrytis influence in wine smells and tastes like honey/honeysuckle, ripe/overripe stone fruits, marmalade, toffee, ginger, and(...)
  • Botrytis bunch rot
    Fungus that affects wine grapes. Also referred to as grey rot.
  • Botrytis cinerea
    This mold is a common viticultural disease that if left untreated can completely destroy an entire grape crop. Wine made from badly Botrytis-infected grapes will have moldy and sour flavor characteristics. However, is some rare cases Botrytis affected grapes can be made into sweet luscious(...)
  • bottles
    The most common wine bottle size worldwide is 750 ml and every one consists of a mouth, neck, shoulder, body, and bottom. The bottom may contain an indention known as a punt.
  • bottling
    The process of transferring wine from a large container to individual bottles.
  • bouquet
    The complex aromas perceived in aged wines.
  • breathing
    To expose a wine to oxygen to improve its flavors. Often, aeration will round out and soften a wine
  • Brettanomyces
    Brettanomyces, or the related Dekkora, is a yeast that originates in vineyard soils and can also be found in the winery environment in barrels, tanks, and other equipment. Brett, as it’s often called, smells like earth, barnyard, horse stable, antiseptic, medicinal, sweaty, cheesy, and rancid.(...)
  • bright
    Wines that are higher in acidity.
  • brilliance
    When describing the visual appearance of the wine, this term refers to high clarity, very low levels of suspended solids. When describing fruit flavours, brilliance refers to noticeable acidity and intensity.
  • Brix
    Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is a measure of the sugar content of an aqueous solution such as grape juice.
  • budburst
    The emergence of new leaves on a grapevine at the beginning of each growing season.
  • bunch-thinning
    The removal of undersized, poorly set or tangled bunches.
  • bung
    In cooperage, a wooden or rubber stopper used to seal the cask, keg or barrel.
  • Burdigala
    the Roman name for the city of Bordeaux.
  • bush vine
    An old form of vine training which is low to the ground without the use of a trellis.
  • buttery
    When a wine has gone through malolactic fermentation, it often has a rich, creamy mouthfeel and flavors of butter.
  • c

  • C.I.V.B.
    Conseil des Vins de Bordeaux – The Bordeaux Wine council.
  • Cabernet Franc
    A black grape that is often blended with other so-called Bordeaux varieties and similar to Cabernet Sauvignon yet showing less color and tannin.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
    A black grape variety prized all over the world for producing rich, full-bodied wines with deep color, high levels of acid and tannin, and intense aromas.
  • cane
    The mature, brown and woody shoot of the grapevine after leaf fall.
  • cane pruning
    After winter pruning, one or two canes with between 8 to 15 buds of 1 year old wood is left on the vine.
  • canopy
    Includes the parts of the vine visible aboveground - the trunk, cordon, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit.
  • canopy management
    A range of viticultural techniques applied in vineyards to manipulate the vine canopy. This is performed for vine shape, limiting direct sunlight and disease control, in order to create an optimal growing environment.
  • cap
    In the primary fermentation vessel, the cap is the layer of fruit pulp, skins, and sometimes seeds that forms on top of wine must during the fermentation process.
  • capfall
    Detachment of the cap (calyptra), opening of flower.
  • carbon dioxide
    The gas produced by yeast during fermentation. It also gives sparkling wines their effervescence.
  • carbonated
    The injection of carbon dioxide gas into a wine to make it bubbly.
  • Carbonic Maceration
    Carbonic maceration is a winemaking technique commonly associated with the wines of Beaujolais. Whole clusters of Gamay grapes are placed in stainless steel tanks after which CO2 is pumped in to create an anaerobic environment (lack of oxygen). In time, fermentation takes place inside the(...)
  • cassis
    A low alcohol syrupy liquor made from blackcurrants which is often used as a flavoring and sweetening agent.
  • cat pee
    An aroma often associated with Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
  • Cause and Effect
    Cause and Effect is a concept that answers the question “why” a given wine looks, smells, and tastes the way it does. Factors contributing to cause and effect have to do with the specific grape from which a wine is made, the climate where the grapes grown, or winemaking techniques. Knowing(...)
  • cellaring
    The storage of wine, usually in bottles or barrels where factors such as temperature and humidity are maintained by a climate control system.
  • Cepage
    Grape Variety
  • chaptalisation
    The addition of sugar to wine or juice.
  • Chaptalization
    A winemaking process of adding sugar to fermenting must to increase alcohol in the finished wine. Chaptalization is legal and widely used in European countries. It is largely illegal in the U.S. and other New World countries.
  • character
    A term which often refers to the personality, substance and integrity of a wine.
  • Chardonnay
    A white grape variety which is heavily influenced by where its grown and how its made.
  • chewy tannins
    The sense of tannins that is not overwhelming, but is a little drying. This sensation is not necessarily a negative attribute for wine.
  • chocolatey
    Typically associated with rich red wines, chocolaty refers to the flavours and mouthfeel associated with chocolate.
  • cigar box
    These flavors are hinting toward sweetness and cedar-wood with an abundance of smoke.
  • Clairet
    a light red wine, slightly darker than rosé
  • Claret
    The traditional name given by the British to Bordeaux red wine
  • clarification
    The removal of insoluble solids from wine.
  • Clarity
    The degree of a wine’s clarity--or lack thereof--which is largely determined by the amount of fining and filtering the wine undergoes before bottling.
  • clean
    Wine without off-flavors or taints.
  • climate
    Climate is the statistics (usually, mean or variability) of weather, usually over a 30-year interval.[1][2] It is measured by assessing the patterns of variation in temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological variables(...)
  • clone
    A vine that has developed differently from other vines of the same grape variety. The clone may have developed through natural selection by adapting to its environment or was artificially bred and developed in a control environment in order to advance favourable characteristics.
  • closed
    Wine that is not very aromatic.
  • closures
    The object used to seal a wine bottle and avoid contact between the wine and oxygen. Closure types include; natural cork, screw caps, synthetic closures and glass closures.
  • cloying
    A sticky or sickly sweet wine without balanced acidity.
  • coarse
    A coarse wine has a rough texture or mouthfeel, usually due to the perception of tannins.
  • cold settling
    A non-mechanical process of clarifying juices at low temperatures (< 5°C).
  • cold soak
    Pre-fermentation cold maceration involves the aqueous extraction of compounds from the fruit flesh/pulp/skins/seeds into the must (as opposed to the alcoholic extraction).
  • cold stabilisation
    Chilling wine to –2°C to precipitate tartrate crystals.
  • Cold Stabilization
    The process of removing excess tartaric acid (tartrates) in wine before bottling by chilling it to approximately 30 degrees fahrenheit over 24-30 hours. During that time, excess tartrates precipitate out of solution and the wine is then filtered (or not) and then bottled.
  • color
    The color of a wine mostly comes from the grape skins. Generally, red wines become lighter and more brown as they age, while white wines get darker.
  • Complexity
    Complexity is one of the most subjective aspects the deductive grid. For our purposes, complexity can be defined as the number of aromas and flavors combined with how much—or little—the wine changes on the palate. The degree of complexity is largely determined by the vineyard origin, quality(...)
  • compound bud
    Compound (or dormant) buds occur at each node along a vine shoot and comprise primary, secondary and tertiary latent buds. Compound buds that develop in one season can burst in the subsequent season to give a primary shoot, if their node is retained after winter pruning. (If the primary latent(...)
  • concentrated
    A wine with intense flavors.
  • continentality
    A climate attribute that is inversely related to the degree of water moderation.
  • cordon
    The outward extensions or "arms" of a grapevine extending from the trunk which carries the fruiting grape shoots or spurs.
  • cordon cut
    Wines made from grapes which have partially dessicated (becoming significantly sweeter) on the vine.
  • cork
    A buoyant light brown substance obtained from the outer layer of the bark of the cork oak. Cork is used to close or seal wine bottles.
  • cork taint
    A wine fault caused by the presence of the chemical compounds 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) or 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA) in wine.
  • corked
    A wine fault, usually from an unclean or faulty cork resulting in a musty smell.
  • coulure
    The result of metabolic reactions to weather conditions that causes a failure of grapes to develop after flowering.
  • creamy
    A popular description for white wines and sparkling wines fermented or aged in oak.
  • crisp
    A term often used to describe a white wine with high acidity.
  • Cross-flow filtration
    A form of extreme filtration that involves wine being forced under great pressure across a horizontal filtration system with micron-sized pores in the filter pads. Cross-flow is is an effective, economical method used for stabilization purposes as well as to remove certain faults including(...)
  • crusher
    A piece of winery equipment that carries out the process of crushing (breaking the grape skins) wine grapes prior to fermentation.
  • crusher-destemmer
    A device that crushes grapes (generally with rollers) and then removes stems with beaters revolving in a perforated cylinder.
  • crushing
    The juice inside the berry, as well as the seeds and broken skins are freed for further processing.
  • crust
    The bottle sediment of red wines as they age. This is usually associated with sediments in port.
  • cultivar (cultivated variety)
    A grapevine selected for desirable characteristics that can be maintained by propagation.
  • d

  • decanting
    The transferring of a wine from its bottle to another container. This process removes sediment and exposes the wine to air.
  • Decision Matrix
    A system for organizing and “funneling” sensory information gathered when looking at, smelling, and tasting wine with the intent of formatting a deductive conclusion. Further, a decision matrix, is a series of mini if-then decisions/conclusions that help a taster in formatting the conclusion.
  • dense
    Dense often describes bold red wines, but isn’t always a positive characteristic in other wines because it implies that it is unbalanced.
  • depth
    An aspect of complexity. I.e. a wine with several layers of flavor.
  • descriptors
    Words used to describe the aromas and flavours of a wine when assessing its overall quality.
  • Desiccated
    Desiccated is best defined as the state of extreme dryness or the process of extreme drying. In older wines, desiccation is a common term used to describe fruit quality.
  • dessert wine
    A sweet and high alcohol still wine which is usually served after a meal or with dessert.
  • destemmer
    The process of separating stems from the grapes. The process lowers the development of tannins and vegetal flavours in resulting wines.
  • developed
    A tasting term referring to the maturity of a wine.
  • diacetyl
    Diacetyl is a byproduct of malolactic fermentation/conversion responsible for the butter/cream/dairy notes in Chardonnay. Detecting diacetyl is important to recognize not only Chardonnay-based wines but Chardonnay-treatment winemaking used with other grapes as well.
  • dirty
    A wine with off flavours, often from poor hygiene during the fermentation or bottling process.
  • distillation
    The process of separating the more volatile component (alcohol) from the less volatile component (water) from a water/alcohol solution. This is done by heating the solution, then condensing and collecting the alcohol rich vapours (a high alcohol strength liquid known as a spirit).
  • Diurnal Temperature
    Difference between day and night temperatures.
  • dormancy
    The period during a grapevine's growing season where there is no photosynthetic and very little metabolic activity going on.
  • downy mildew
    A major disease of grapevines caused by the fungus Plasmopara viticola which is unique to grapevines.
  • draining
    The operation consisting of leaving the juice of the crushed, harvested grapes to flow, before pressing.
  • drip irrigation
    A controlled system of irrigation where water is provided to the grape vine drip by drip in precise amounts by a system of pipes and metered valves.
  • dry
    A wine with low or no residual sugar which lacks the perception of sweetness.
  • Dry Extract
    Dry extract refers to grape solids present in wine. The higher the dry extract, the richer and more full-bodied the wine. Dry extract is measured in grams per liter.
  • e

  • earthy
    A slightly unpleasant finish on a wine; often the aromas and flavor are reminiscent of earth, such as forest floor or mushrooms.
  • elegance
    A well balanced wine that has subtle complexity.
  • Esters
    Esters are a group of volatile aromatic compounds derived from fermentation that are responsible for the general “fruity” smell in wines.
  • evaporation
    The changing of a liquid into a gas, often under the influence of heat.
  • expressive
    A wine with projected aromas and flavors.
  • extended maceration
    Leaving young red wine in contact with skins and seeds on completion of primary fermentation.
  • extracted
    A wine with concentrated flavors which are often derived from extended skin contact.
  • extraction
    The release of substances, mostly derived from grape skins and just under the skin surface, that contribute tannin, colour, glycerol and flavour in wine.
  • f

  • fat
    A wine that is full in body and has a sense of viscous.
  • fault
    An unpleasant characteristic of wine resulting from a flaw with the winemaking process or storage conditions.
  • faults
    The presence of an attribute at an intensity that detracts from a wine style.
  • Fermentation
    A natural process by which yeasts feed on the sugar in grape juice, gradually converting that sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
  • fertilisation
    In flowers: joining of the chromosomes of the pollen and the egg cell.
  • FEW
    Fruit, Earth, and Wood
  • Filtration
    The process by which wine is passed through a filter pad to clarify it while also removing potentially problematic microbes, yeasts, and other solids. The degree of filtration, as in the size of filter pad pores, ranges dramatically, from light “polish” filtration to cross flow filtering and(...)
  • finesse
    A very subjective term used to describe a high quality wine that is well balanced.
  • Fining
    The process by which a substance (fining agent) is used to clarify wine by collecting and ultimately removing grape solids. Fining agents include egg whites, bentonite (a fine white clay), and isinglass, a kind of gelatin substance derived from fish bladders.
  • finish
    The perception of a wine after swallowing.
  • fino
    A style of sherry that has a distinctive tangy flavour that comes from being aged under a layer of 'flor' yeast cells.
  • firm
    A strong perception of tannin and structure.
  • flabby
    A wine that lacks acidity.
  • flat
    The term is often used interchangeably with 'flabby' to denote a wine that is lacking acidity.
  • flavor
    The complex combination of the olfactory, gustatory and trigeminal sensations perceived during tasting.
  • fluvial soil
    Soils created by the runoff of creeks or streams from a hillside watershed.
  • Fortification
    The process of adding neutral grape spirits (brandy) to wine during or after fermentation. Fortification was originally used to preserve wine but is still commonly used in the production of Sherry, Port, Madeira, Vin Doux Naturels, and other wines. Fortified wines can either be dry or sweet(...)
  • fortified wine
    A wine to which a distilled spirit (usually brandy) is added to increase its alcohol.
  • foxy
    A musty odor and flavor from Vitis labrusca grapes native to North America.
  • free run
    Juice obtained from grapes that have not been pressed.
  • fresh
    A positive perception of fruit and acidity.
  • freshness
    A positive perception of wine acidity.
  • fruit
    The perception of grape characteristics unique to a varietal.
  • fruitset
    Qualitative definition: retention of the ovary on the peduncle as berry, after fertilisation of the ovule. Quantitative definition: proportion of flowers that become berries.
  • full
    A wine with heavy weight or body, due to the alcohol concentration. Alternatively, it can also refer to a wine that is full in flavor and tannin.
  • fumé blanc
    A synonym for wines made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
  • g

  • Geneva Double Curtain trellis
    A horizontally divided trellis that is specifically designed to allow more light into the fruiting zone while increasing the surface area of the canopy.
  • geographic regions (appellation)
    A legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown.
  • Glassware Stance
    Glassware stance is a group of techniques for how to hold a wine glass and smell wine in order to derive the optimum results.
  • Glycerin
    Glycerin, or glycerol, is an alcohol which is present in wine from the fermentation. Glycerin affects both the wine's flavor and texture. On the palate, glycerin adds a fuller texture and a softer mouth-feel.
  • graft
    The joint made during the grafting of rootstock to the scion of a vine.
  • grape quality
    Grape quality is affected by variety in conjunction with the weather during the growing season, soil minerals and acidity, the time of harvest, and the pruning methods employed.
  • grassy
    An herbaceous or vegetal characteristic of a wine.
  • green
    A negative tasting term for a wine that tastes youthful, unripe, raw and acidic.
  • gross lees
    Gross lees (dead yeast cells) usually collect at the bottom of the fermentation vessel immediately after fermentation is complete.
  • Gulf stream
    The current of warm water running along the Atlantic coast, influencing the temperate climate of the region.
  • h

  • ha
    Measurement of surface area used for vines in Bordeaux = 2.47 acres
  • hard
    An extremely tannic wine.
  • harvest
    The stage when the grape bunches are picked. For winemaking this is when the berries have reached adequate ripeness, primarily measured by sugar, acid and tannin levels.
  • heat degree days
    The average temperature per day (°C) minus 10, multiplied by the number of days in the 7 month growing season (May to September in). A base of 10 is used because vines do not function below 10°C.
  • heat exchanger
    A device for rapidly cooling or warming wine, grape juice or must, often employing a shell with tubes inside.
  • heavy
    An unbalanced wine that is very alcoholic.
  • Hectare
    Measurement of surface area used for vines in Bordeaux = 2.47 acres
  • herbaceous
    Vegetal aromas and flavors.
  • herbal
    A wine with a flavor or aroma profile that is reminiscent of herbs.
  • herbicide
    A concoction of chemical or organic chemicals used to control weed growth in the vineyard.
  • hollow
    Diluted wines which lack fruit depth and concentration.
  • hot
    A wine which is too high in alcohol and therefore leaves a burning sensation in the back of the throat when swallowed.
  • humidity
    Expressed as a percentage, the relative humidity is the ratio of the amount of water vapour in the air at a specific temperature to the maximum amount that the air could hold at that temperature.
  • hybrid
    The product of a crossing of two or more Vitis species.
  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
    H2S is an intense smelling sulfur compound that is formed when yeast draws on sulfur compounds for a nitrogen source during fermentation. H2S smells like sewer gas or rotten eggs. Wines displaying H2S are often called “reduced.” H2S is removed by the addition of diammonium phosphate (DAP) to(...)
  • hydrogen sulphide
    The combination of hydrogen and sulphur dioxide which can produce a 'rotten egg' fault. The compound may develop into mercaptans in bottle.
  • i

  • INAO
    Institut National des Appellations Contrôlées, the government body responsible for quality control and certification of Bordeaux wines and more besides.
  • indigenous yeast
    A number od species and strains of indigenous (aka "wild yeast") (not cultured) yeasts are found on grapes and winery equipment. If left, grape juice will spontaneously start to ferment.
  • Inflorescence
    Reproductive organ of grapevine whereby a collection of flowers are arranged on the rachis.
  • inoculation
    The process of yeast addition to juice or must.
  • Intensity of Aroma
    The overall intensity of aroma in a wine is the result of a number of different factors including the specific grape variety, grape ripeness level, alcohol content, and winemaking techniques including ML, batonnage, oak usage, and more.
  • irrigation
    The process of applying extra water in the cultivation of grapevines.
  • j

  • jammy
    A wine with rich fruit intensity that maybe lacking in tannins.
  • juice
    The liquid expressed from the grape berries.
  • l

  • laccase
    An enzyme which can occur in grapes, particularly under wet conditions. It causes rapid and damaging oxidation of juice and wine.
  • lactic acid
    An acid formed in trace amounts during yeast fermentation and in larger quantities during malolactic fermentation.
  • late harvest
    Wines made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual.
  • lateral shoot
    Side shoot that develops from the axillary buds on the stem of the current season’s growth.
  • layering
    A long cane from an adjacent vine is used to replace a missing vine. The new vine grows quickly as it is nursed by the mother vine to which it is attached.
  • leaf removal
    The practice of removing basal leaves and basal laterals to expose the fruit zone to light and air movement.
  • lean
    The sense of acidity in the wine that lacks a perception of fruit.
  • leathery
    A red wine high in tannins with a thick and soft taste may be reminiscent of leather.
  • lees
    Wine sediment that occurs during and after fermentation. It consists of dead yeast cells, grape seeds, and other solids.
  • Lees contact
    Lees contact and bâtonnage, or the stirring of the lees, are commonly used white winemaking techniques. Both add a richness and creaminess to the texture of the wine as well as aromas and flavors of yeast, brioche, bread dough, and toast. This gradual breakdown of lees left over from(...)
  • legs
    The tracks of liquid that cling to the sides of a glass after the contents have been swirled.
  • length
    The amount of time that flavors lingers in the mouth after swallowing wine.
  • lyre trellis
    A “U” shaped trellis system where the canopy is split horizontally, the shoots trained upwards, and there are two distinct fruit zones.
  • m

  • maceration
    The mixing of grape skins and juice prior to, during and after alcoholic fermentation is known as maceration. This can also be termed skin contact. In white winemaking, skin contact is only used with certain varieties (e.g. Sauvignon Blanc) to enhance varietal character. Almost all red wines(...)
  • machine-harvest
    Mature fruit is harvested with specialized machines that tease the berries off the rachis which is left behind on the cane.
  • macroclimate
    Refers to the regional climate of a broad area. Examples would be AVA's such as Oakville, Rutherford. AOC such as Cote Roti, Chablis.
  • maderised
    A wine which shows Madeira flavors has evidence of oxidation. It is a fault whereby over-heating has giving the wine a brown color and burnt, stale taste.
  • Maderization
    Maderization is one of the most common wine faults due to poor storage conditions. When exposed to heat for any period of time, wine thermally expands inside the bottle pushing the cork up and even out. Oxidation also common with maderized wines. Wines that are Maderized smell cooked or burned(...)
  • malic acid
    An acid found in high concentrations in unripe grapes, it has a tart, sharp flavor.
  • malolactic fermentation
    This is a secondary fermentation that occurs in almost all red wine and some white wines. A group of bacteria known as the Lactic acid bacteria are responsible. Wine is allowed to undergo this process as it reduces the chance of microbial spoilage occurring once the wine is bottled. Typical(...)
  • marc
    A French word for the residue stalks, skins and seeds left after pressing.
  • maturation
    Storage of wine in tanks or oak barrels to allow slow chemical changes to occur and the wine to mellow.
  • Mediterranean Climate
    Characterized by low temperature difference between the warm summer months and cold winter months. In addition, rainfall tends to fall between late fall and early spring, leaving the summer warm and dry.
  • Mercaptan
    Mercaptan is a volatile sulfur compound that smells like natural gas, onions, or garlic. When H2S is not removed quickly from the must, it can further react with other compounds to form mercaptans and other disulfides. Mercaptan can also be formed in a finished wine that is allowed prolonged(...)
  • mercaptans
    A short-chained hydrocarbon that contains a thiol group. It is highly volatile and possesses strong putrid odors.
  • Merlot
    A black grape with thin skins resulting in wines typically with lighter color and tannins.
  • mesoclimate
    Refers to the climate of a particular vineyard site and is generally restricted to a space of a tens or hundreds of metres.
  • metallic
    The perception of an unpleasant bitter taste which resembles metal.
  • methoxypyrazines
    Methoxypyrazines are a group of compounds, found in both grapes and wine, which are responsible for the green, herbaceous, or vegetative aromas in wine.
  • micro-oxygenation (MOX)
    The controlled exposure of wine to small amounts of oxygen in the attempt to reduce the length of time required for maturation.
  • microclimate
    Refers to the specific environment in a small restricted space, such as a row of vines.
  • millerandage
    Occurs when flowers develop abnormally into either seedless berries or live green ovaries.
  • Minimal nterventionist Winemaking
    Minimal interventionist winemaking is a term used to describe a style of winemaking in which the winemaker does as little as possible to a wine during fermentation and aging of the wine. While some give a great deal of merit to the idea, it’s important to note that all winemaking by its very(...)
  • mouldy
    A wine which exhibits an unpleasant musty, rotten and earthy aroma and/or taste.
  • mousy
    Mousey taint is a microbiological fault caused by the spoilage yeasts belonging to the genera Brettanomyces and Dekkera. Wine affected by the taint often displays an intense metallic bitterness.
  • mouthfeel
    The texture of a wine as it is perceived in the mouth.
  • mulch
    A protective cover placed over the soil to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and suppress weed growth and seed germination.
  • must
    Unfermented grape juice, including berry seeds, skins and stalks.
  • musty
    A wine with a dank aromas arising from processing mouldy grapes or using unhygienic storage containers.
  • n

  • nematodes
    Microscopic, parasitic roundworm that live in or feed on grapevine roots. They can stunt vine growth and cause viral disease.
  • nested AVA
    An appellation that falls inside the boundaries of a bigger AVA, like nesting dolls. This is the term that should be used when referring to the nested AVAs in Napa Valley. Napa Valley has a conjunctive labeling regulation, which means that all wines produced from its 16 nested AVAs must also(...)
  • Nested-AVA
    An appellation that falls inside the boundaries of a bigger AVA, like nesting dolls. This is the term that should be used when referring to the nested AVAs in Napa Valley. Napa Valley has a conjunctive labelling regulation, which means that all wines produced from its 16 nested AVAs must also(...)
  • New oak
    Aging wine in oak imparts a wide range of aromas and flavors including vanilla, baking spices, chocolate, coconut, dill, smoke, toast, coffee, tea, and more. Technically, lactone esters account for many of these oak indicators. It’s vital that the student/taster be able to identify the markers(...)
  • New World
    New World wines are those produced outside the traditional wine-growing areas of Europe.
  • New World style
    A wine is described as having “New World” style when it is dominated by fruit elements with little, if any, mineral and earth notes. Forward fruit, less natural acidity, and a higher alcohol level can also be clues that a wine is from the New World as major growing regions tend to have a(...)
  • non-vintage
    A non-vintage wine means the year isn't listed on the label and may contain wine from different years.
  • nose
    The nose is the smell of the wine in the glass.
  • nutrition
    The use of nutrition (levels of nutrients in the vine) can influence fruit set, fruit quality and the quality of the end product.
  • nutty
    A wine that exhibits aromas and flavours reminiscent of nuts.
  • o

  • oak
    A common source of wood for fermentation vessels and barrel aging. Oak influence can also be imparted by using oak chips or staves.
  • oak staves
    A shaped piece of wood that forms part of a barrel or other type of cooperage. Staves and sticks are often added to a wine tank post-fermentation where the oak aromatics and flavor compounds are extracted from the wood by the alcohol.
  • oaky
    A wine with a noticeable perception of the effects of oak, often described as vanilla and sweet spice aromas, a creamy body and a smoky or toasted flavor.
  • oily
    A term for wine with a viscous texture or that is low in acidity and feels flabby in the mouth.
  • Old World
    Wines made from countries with a long history of winemaking, including countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Old World style
    A wine is described as displaying “Old World” style when it is dominated by other-than-fruit elements, specifically mineral and earth. Restrained fruit, higher natural acidity, and restrained alcohol can also be clues that a wine is from the Old World as the important growing regions tend to(...)
  • olfactory bulb
    When wine is inhaled into the nose or mouth, information is transmitted to the olfactory bulb which can identify nearly 10,000 unique aromas even at very low concentrations.
  • Organoleptics
    A term used to describe the combined senses of smell and taste.
  • over-cropping
    A vine which bears more fruit than it can ripen in a given season. This usually results in stunted shoots.
  • ovule
    The part of the ovary of grapevine flowers that contains the female germ cell and after fertilization becomes the seed.
  • oxidation
    If a wine has been exposed to air, it undergoes oxidation which causes chemical changes and deterioration. Often, an oxidized wine is stale, dull and becomes brown.
  • Oxidative Winemaking
    Oxidative winemaking denotes allowing limited amounts of oxygen during fermentation, racking, or barrel aging by the winemaker with the intent of producing a specific style of wine.
  • oxidised
    A negative term indicating that a wine that has undergone oxidation.
  • p

  • packaging
    Most wines are sold in glass bottles with a seal (including cork, synthetic cork or a screwcap). An alternative wine packaging is bag in box wine.
  • palate
    The overall impression of aroma, flavour and textures produced by the wine in the mouth.
  • Passito
    An Italian term describing the process of drying grapes on straw mats over a period of time. Passito is also used to describe wines made from dried grapes, such as Passito di Pantelleria from Sicily.
  • pectin
    Pectins are structural molecules in the cell walls of grapes which have the important function of binding plant cells together.
  • pedicel
    The stalk of an individual flower.
  • peduncle
    A stalk supporting an inflorescence, which is the part of the shoot of the grapevine where flowers are formed and eventually the bunch.
  • pesticide
    A concoction of chemicals used to eliminate pests in the vineyards such as flies, larvae, moths and spiders.
  • pests
    Pests are living organisms that occur where they are not wanted or that cause damage to grapevines.
  • Petaluma Gap
    A wind gap in the coastal mountains near Petaluma bringing in strong (20 plus miles per hour) winds from the Pacific towards the San Francisco Bay, which further cools the southern part of Napa Valley (particularly the Carneros region).
  • petrol
    A wine containing a high concentration of trimethyldihydronaphthalene, whose scent is evocative of the odor of petrol, kerosene or paraffin.
  • pH
    A measure of the acidity. The lower the pH, the higher the acidity (the concentration of hydrogen ions). The lower the pH number the higher the acidity.
  • Phenolic Bitterness
    Phenolic bitterness in white wines is derived from skin contact and should not be confused with oak tannin. Wines with phenolic bitterness include Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, Viognier, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio, and Alsace Pinot Gris.
  • phenology
    The study of the annual growth of grapevines and how these stages of development are influenced by seasonal variations in climate.
  • Photosynthesis
    The process whereby sunlight is used by chlorophyll-containing green plants to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose (and oxygen).
  • Phylloxera
    A minute (ca. 0.75 mm) underground insect that kills grape vines by attacking their roots.
  • Pigmentation
    The natural color of wine--especially red wine--that is derived from polyphenol compounds found in grape skins.
  • Pinot noir
    A black grape with thin skins resulting in wines typically with lighter color and tannins.
  • plunging
    The process of pushing down the cap to extract colour, flavour and body.
  • pollination
    The process by which pollen is transferred from the anther (male part) to the stigma (female part) of the grapevine, thereby enabling fertilization and reproduction.
  • polymerisation
    Aggregation of anthocyanins and tannins into larger particles, leading to color changes of red wines.
  • potter fermenters
    A fermentation vessel which uses gravity to separate juice or fermented wine from skins and seeds.
  • powdery mildew
    A fungal disease that attacks any green tissue of a grapevine. Symptoms are a greyish appearance on leaves and young fruit.
  • powerful
    A wine with a high level of alcohol that is not excessively alcoholic.
  • precision viticulture
    The cultivation of grapes using an approach that applies appropriate vineyard management practices according to variation in environmental factors (soil, topography, microclimate, etc.). Typically the approach uses technological tools (GPS, GIS, remote sensing, etc.) to measure local(...)
  • press
    Equipment used to separate juice or wine from skins, pulp and seeds.
  • pressing
    The juice extracted from the grapes under pressure which has flavor, deeper color and more tannins than free-run juice.
  • primary bud necrosis
    A physiological disorder whereby the primary bud within a grapevine compound bud becomes necrotic.
  • primary fermentation
    During primary fermentation of wine, glucose and fructose are converted to alcohol (ethanol) by yeast. The by-products are aroma and flavor compounds as well as carbon dioxide and heat.
  • Prompt bud
    A prompt (or lateral) bud is a bud that develops in the leaf axil next to the compound (or dormant) bud; it may or may not burst in the same season it develops, to become a lateral shoot.
  • propagation
    the creation of new organisms from seeds (sexual propagation) or vegetative parts of plants such as grapevine cuttings (asexual propagation).
  • pruning
    The removal of living shoots, canes, leaves and other vegetative parts of the vine. Summer pruning is removal of the shoots through the growing season.
  • pulp
    The flesh of the grape. The pulp contains a majority of the water, sugar, and acid that forms the grape juice extracted from the berries.
  • pump-over
    The act of pumping wine out from a bottom valve of a fermenting tank, up onto the top of the fermenting mass in the same tank. This ensures a floating “cap” of wets skins.
  • Pyrazines
    Pyrazines are the compounds in wine that give the wine a vegetative flavor; often expressed as green pepper, but sometimes as olive, dried sage, dried oregano, other dried herbs.
  • r

  • rachis
    The central axis of the inflorescence that bears the flowers/berries.
  • rack and return
    Decanting clear juice or wine from above the sediment (lees) into another vessel. The lees are then cleaned out and decanted liquid is then returned to the original vessel.
  • racking
    The process of drawing wine off the sediment, such as lees, after fermentation and moving it into another vessel.
  • Raisination
    A term that describes wines displaying raisinated fruit characteristics. Raisination can originate from a number of different causes including grape varieties that ripen unevenly, wine made from overripe grapes, or wine made from dried grapes.
  • raisiny
    A wine with a taste of raisins, resulting from the use of grapes that were overripe and possible dried when picked.
  • rancio
    An unique character, often described as butterscotch and old wood aromas, found in fortified wines which have spent a significant time in old oak barrels.
  • random oxidation
    A flaw that occurs in white wines, when a wine is expected to be in good condition, but is found to be oxidised and often undrinkable.
  • Recioto
    A dessert wine made from grapes that were dried on mats after picking.
  • reduction
    The reduced state is usually recognized the smell of rotten eggs (hydrogen sulphide). Compounds in wine gain an electron (or hydrogen atom) and become reduced.
  • refractometer
    A device used to measure the sugar content of grapes.
  • reserve wine
    A term given to wines which implies it is of a higher quality than usual and/or has been aged before being sold. This is NOT a legally defined term.
  • residual sugar
    The amount of sugar remaining in a wine that has not been converted into alcohol when fermentation ends. Often shortened to RS.
  • resveratrol
    A stilbene compound produced by grapes in response to environmental stress, notably to attack by pathogenic fungi. It is also an important antioxidant with beneficial health consequences when wine is consumed in moderation.
  • reticent
    A wine that is not exhibiting much aroma or bouquet characteristics.
  • retro nasal passage
    The airways that connect the nose and the mouth.
  • Retro-nasal
    A smelling technique used by some professionals that involves tasting the wine first, spitting (or swallowing), and then breathing out through the nose.
  • Reverse Osmosis
    The term reverse osmosis refers to another extreme form of filtration that involves filtering wine at the micron level. The term also refers to the patented equipment used in the process itself. As with cross-flow and sterile filtration, reverse osmosis is used to remove water, alcohol, and(...)
  • rich
    A sense of sweetness that is not excessive.
  • ripeness
    The point when a grape has achieved a sufficient balance of sugars and acids.
  • ripening
    The physiological changes that occur as grapes accumulate sugar, colour, flavour and aroma compounds.
  • rootstock
    The lower part of a grafted vine that consistent of the root structure of the plant. Since the phylloxera epidemic of the 19th century, emphasis has been on using phylloxera resistant rootstock but rootstock selection can also control vigour and yields.
  • rotary fermenter
    Rotary fermenters have agitators inside them to mix the cap and juice when the whole tank is rotated mechanically.
  • Rotundone
    Rotundone is a chemical compound called a sesquiterpene that accumulates in grape skins, increasing in concentration between véraison and harvest. Rotundone accounts for the peppery aroma found in certain white and red grapes. White wines displaying this peppery quality include Grüner(...)
  • rough
    A wine with a coarse texture.
  • round
    A wine with a balanced body that is not overly tannic.
  • row
    A number of vines planted in a more or less straight line.
  • s

  • saignée
    The removal of grape juice from the must before primary fermentation to increase a wines skin/juice ratio. Juice drawn off can be used to make a rosé wine.
  • salinity
    The saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water.
  • sappy
    A slightly green character often found in young wines.
  • Sauvignon blanc
    A highly aromatic white grape variety with high acidity.
  • scion
    The above ground vine stock that determines the grape variety.
  • Scott Henry trellis
    A vertically split canopy training system which utilises two canes which are tied to an upper wire and the shoots trained upward. There are also two canes tied to a wire 12” below the upper wire and those shoots are trained downwards.
  • screw-cap
    An alternative to cork for sealing wine bottles. The closure consists of a metal cap that screws onto threads on the neck of a bottle.
  • secondary fermentation
    A second period of fermentation in a different vessel than the one used to start the fermentation process.
  • seed
    A unit of grapevine reproduction, capable of developing into another grapevine.
  • self-pollination
    Most Vitis vinifera grapevines are hermaphroditic (they have both male stamens and female ovaries) and are therefore able to self-pollinate.
  • sensory evaluation
    The assessment of wine based on sight, smell, taste and touch.
  • shoot thinning
    The removal of unwanted shoots from the vine cordon, head or trunk to in order to maintain a desired canopy configuration.
  • site selection
    There are three aspects that should be considered when selecting a successful vineyard site: climate, soils and proximity to crop hazards.
  • skin
    The outer layer of the grape, which is sometimes referred to as hulls or husks. This is where most of the colour comes from in red wines as well as tannin.
  • Skin Contact
    Skin contact is a technique used in white winemaking where grape skins are kept in contact with the must for a limited period of time. Skin contact adds phenolic compounds to the finished wine giving it structure and trace of bitterness.
  • Smart Dyson trellis
    A vertically split canopy system where the shoots arise from one cordon. Half of the shoots are trained upwards and the other half are trained downwards.
  • smokey
    A wine exhibiting the aromas and flavours of the various types of smoke.
  • smoothness
    A wine with a non-astringent texture.
  • soft
    A wine that is not overly tannic.
  • soil
    The upper layer of earth in which grapevines grow. The material is usually black or dark brown and consists of a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles.
  • solera
    The multi-barrel system used in the traditional production of some fortified wines, such as Sherry.
  • solids
    Microscopic particulate matter that is held temporarily in suspension following crushing of the grapes.
  • sour
    A wine with unbalanced, puckery acidity.
  • Sous bois
    Sous bois is a French term for forest-floor or undergrowth.
  • sparging
    The sparging of juice or must with oxygen to oxidize readily oxidisable phenols and promote their subsequent precipitation during fermentation.
  • sparkling wine
    A term used to describe almost any other carbonated wine produced outside the French Champagne region which can be made using the méthode traditionnelle, the Charmat process, the transfer method or carbonation.
  • spicy
    A wine with aromas and flavors reminiscent of various spices.
  • spur
    A short pruning unit of current season’s wood. Usually, two buds are retained at pruning.
  • spur pruning
    The pruning of current season’s wood to two buds.
  • stabilisation
    The removal of unstable components such that the wine will not develop any undesirable physical and sensory properties under normal storage conditions.
  • standard drink
    A standard drink is any drink containing 10 grams of alcohol.
  • Stem inclusion
    A common practice in red winemaking in Burgundy as well as Beaujolais. In Beaujolais, the practice of stem inclusion is the result of fermenting whole clusters of grapes using carbonic maceration. Aromas and flavors from stem inclusion can best be described as green and woody.
  • Sterile filtration
    Processing wine through filter pads that have micron-sized pores. Wines are sterile filtered for stabilization purposes as well as to remove certain faults including Brett, VA, and sulfur compounds. Sterile filtration is also used to decrease the level of alcohol in a finished wine.
  • structure
    The term concerns the mouthfeel of a wine, provided by the balance of acidity, tannin, alcohol and sugar.
  • stuck fermentation
    A yeast fermentation that stops prematurely and does not restart even though live yeast and fermentable sugar still remain in the liquid.
  • Sub-AVA
    This term is often used interchangeably with nested-AVA, however the term sub-AVA infers that the appellation is subordinate to the larger AVA, and this is not technically accurate.
  • sugar
    Glucose and fructose are converted to alcohol (ethanol) by the action of yeast during the primary fermentation of wine.
  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
    SO2 is a valuable preservative that has been commonly used as an antioxidant in beverage and food production for over two thousand years. SO2 is used during the winemaking process to prevent oxidation and to stabilize the wine before bottling. However, if there is an excess of SO2 is added(...)
  • sulphur dioxide
    SO2 A pungent gas used in winemaking to inhibit wild yeast growth, protect wine from air oxidation and inhibit browning in juice and wine.
  • supple
    A wine with good fruit and soft astringency.
  • sur lie
    A winemaking practice that involves prolonged aging on dead yeast cells. Gives wine a creamy texture and can help protect it from oxygen.
  • sweet wine
    Red or white wines which have varying degrees of residual sugar.
  • sweetness
    Residual sugar provides wine sweetness, which is leftover glucose from grape juice that wasn’t completely fermented into alcohol.
  • t

  • table wine
    An still wine which is neither fortified nor sparkling.
  • Table Wines
    A type of wine that is neither sparkling nor fortified and typically contain between 9%-15% alcohol by volume (abv). They can be red, white, or rosé and produced in a range of styles from dry to sweet.
  • tactile
    The sensations perceived while wines were held in the mouth.
  • tannic
    A wine with aggressive tannins.
  • Tannin
    Tannin, or tannic acid, is an important component in red wine. Tannin is derived from grape skins, added press wine, or barrels used in the aging process. Tannin tastes bitter and feels astringent. In moderation, tannin adds structure and complexity to wine. An excess of tannin can render wine(...)
  • tar
    A wine with aromas and flavours reminiscent of Tar.
  • tart
    A wine with high levels of acidity.
  • tartaric acid
    One of the strongest acids in wine which controls the acidity levels. It contributes to the “tartness” of a wine, but not as much as malic and citric acid.
  • TCA
    An abbreviation for trichloroanisole; a compound associated with corked wines.
  • TDN
    TDN is the source of the petrol or kerosene character most commonly associated to Riesling. Technically, TDN is a chemical compound called 1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphthanlene, that was first isolated by German scientists in 2006. TDN is present in all wines but it usually at concentrations(...)
  • tears
    The ring of clear liquid near the top of a glass of wine, from which droplets form and fall back into the wine.
  • Terpenes
    Terpenes are intensely aromatic compounds with pronounced floral and sweet citrus notes. Classic grapes/wines that display terpenes include Albariño, Riesling, Viognier, Torrontés, Gewürztraminer, and Muscat.
  • terroir
    The physical and geographical characteristics of a particular vineyard site that give the resultant wine its unique properties.
  • texture
    How a wine feels on the palate.
  • thiols
    Thiols are also responsible for a class of wine faults caused by an unintended reaction between sulfur and yeast.
  • tight
    A young wine that has muted aromas and flavours which needs time to mature.
  • titratable acidity
    A measure of the amount of acid present in a solution, expressed as grams/litre (g/L).
  • toasty
    A charred or smoky taste from an oaked wine.
  • topography
    The study of the shape and features of land surfaces.
  • total acidity
    Total acid may be defined as the concentration of organic acids in grapes. It is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration plus the potassium and sodium ion concentration.
  • training system
    The orientation and placement of a grapevine r to facilitate long-term health while optimizing fruit quality, easing harvest methods and reducing production costs.
  • trellis
    The hardware support structure which supports the vine and the crop.
  • Trichloroanisole (TCA)
    TCA, or corkiness, is a chemical compound (haloanisole) that is the result of mold combining with chlorine. The presence of TCA is most often found in corks. However, TCA can also be traced to barrels, tanks, or other winery equipment. TCA smells musty, moldy and is commonly compared to the(...)
  • trunk
    The main wooden axis of a grapevine that supports the cordon and shoots and is supported by and directly attached to the roots.
  • u

  • ullage
    Also known as headspace, ullage is the unfilled space in a wine bottle, barrel, or tank.
  • Umami
    Umami is one of the five major tastes. It’s derived from glutamic acid, a common amino acid, and is best described as savory tasting with a rich texture. Foods high in umami include shiitake mushrooms, tomato paste, and Parmesan cheese.
  • undervine management
    Under vine management impacts weed species and populations . Practices include mulching, growing an inter-row and/or under vine cover crop or cultivation.
  • v

  • vanilla
    spices
  • vanillin
    An oak induced characteristic aroma reminiscent of vanilla.
  • varietal
    The dominant grape variety from which a wine is made.
  • varietal expression
    A varietal wine primarily shows the fruit and the grape variety dominates the flavor.
  • vat
    A large container, such as a tub or tank, used for storing or holding wine.
  • vegetal
    Aromas and flavors reminiscent of vegetation.
  • veraison
    The onset of ripening and change of colour of the grape berries.
  • vertical shoot positioning (VSP)
    Shoots are set vertically by tucking them between catch wires, resulting in undivided canopies that resemble hedgerows with a narrow vertical canopy.
  • Vin Doux Naturels
    Literally, “wine made sweet naturally.” However, the term Vin Doux Naturels is a misnomer as it describes a style of French fortified wines made in the Southern Rhône Valley or the Languedoc-Roussillon regions. Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise and Banyuls are two well-known Vin Doux Naturels.
  • vine capacity
    The total amount of growth (amount of dry matter) produced in a season; fruit, shoots, leaves, roots and increment of old wood.
  • vine performance
    A measure of root and shoot growth, yield, and grape quality.
  • vinegary
    The aroma of vinegar from the presence of acetic acid.
  • Vinous/Vinosity
    The term vinous, or vinosity, is used to describe the aromas and flavors of a red wine with age. A “vinous” wine displays fruit qualities that are dried/evolved while secondary and tertiary aromas and flavors dominate the wine.
  • vintage
    The year or season of wine grape growing.
  • viticulture
    The cultivation of grapes.
  • Vitis Vinifera
    The genus and species names of our most popular wine grapes.
  • Volatile Acidity (VA) Acetic Acid (AA)
    Volatile acidity, or VA as it commonly called, is a byproduct of fermentation that is present in trace amounts in practically every wine. However, if a wine smells strongly of vinegar or balsamic, it has high level of VA which is usually considered to be a fault. VA can be removed from wine(...)
  • Volatile Acidity (VA) Ethyl Acetate (EA)
    Ethyl acetate, or EA, is the other common form of VA. EA smells like nail polish remover, glue or varnish. It’s caused by wine spoilage yeasts and the chemical reaction of ethanol and acetic acid during fermentation. EC can be removed with sterile filtration, cross flow filtration, and reverse(...)
  • volatility
    The presence of water-soluble organic acids which have short carbon chains. Volatile acidity (VA) in wine represents acetic acid (vinegar).
  • w

  • water stress
    The physiological states that grapevines experience when they are deprived of water.
  • Watering Back
    A winemaking process that consists of adding water to the must before fermentation or to the wine. Watering back is commonly used to reduce the alcohol level in the finished wine.
  • weather
    Weather refers to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate is the term for the statistics of atmospheric conditions over longer periods of time.
  • weight
    Similar to “body”. It is the sensation when a wine feels thick on the palate.
  • whole bunch press
    Generally grapes are crushed to release the juice and allow fermentation to begin. However, in some style of winemaking (e.g. for sparkling or ‘champagne’ wines), whole bunches of grapes are loaded directly into the press and the juice is immediately separated from skins, seeds and stalks.(...)
  • wild yeast
    Species or strains of yeast that occur on grape surfaces or are on winery equipment or walls.
  • Wine
    An alcoholic beverage obtained by fermenting the juice of freshly gathered grapes.
  • Wine Grapes
    Wine Grapes differ from table grapes in many ways. The berries are smaller, with thicker skins and less of the juicy pulp that makes table grapes so great to eat. Wine grape juice has a higher level of acidity that’s necessary to make a wine taste balanced and refreshing, while the skins(...)
  • winemaking
    The practical art and science (also known as enology) of producing wine.
  • y

  • yeast lees
    A single cell microorganism responsible for alcoholic fermentation, that is converting the sugars in grape juice into ethanol. The most important yeast in winemaking is Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as baker’s yeast. Strains of this yeast occur rarely on grapes, however, are easily(...)
  • yield
    A measure of the amount of grapes or wine that is produced per vine (or per area of vineyard).
  • z

  • Zinfandel
    A black grape found primarily in Southern Italy and California, producing a wine range of wine styles from dry or off-dry roses to intense, full-bodied red wines with lots of alcohol.