Cold fermentation is a technique commonly used to produce wine. During the process, red grapes are crushed at low temperatures, typically between 42°F and 50°F, before fermentation begins. This can have a potent impact on both the taste and color of the beverage. Here are a few reasons why many winemakers consider it such an effective production method.
Why Is Cold Fermentation Beneficial?
1. Preserves Signature Fragrances
The scent of wine is part of the tasting experience and can dramatically impact both its flavor and its aroma. Cooler temperatures preserve the scents by locking in the compound esters that are often lost when temperatures are higher. Retaining those components yields a wine with a richer, truer flavor. For example, a fruity white tastes far sweeter when its aromatic compounds remain. Warmer fermentation, by contrast, causes the esters to escape, robbing the wine of its distinct flavor in the process.
2. Avoids Unusual Flavors
Under warm temperatures, fermentation can cause sulfuric byproducts to develop in the wine. This can lead to unpleasant aromas and flavors, smelling like anything from rotten eggs to cabbage. By maintaining a cooler temperature, the true characteristics of the wine remain in place and compounds known to produce sulfuric additives don’t have a chance to develop.
3. Reduces Alcohol Content
People who enjoy wine tasting but don’t want to intake too much alcohol will appreciate cold fermenting. When fermentation temperatures are high, chemical reactions speed up and sugars convert to alcohol quickly. By contrast, cold fermentation takes weeks to months to complete, with reactions occurring at a much slower rate. This yields a lighter alcohol content and a generally mellower flavor profile.
If you love wine and are interested in tasting a delicious cold-fermented variety, visit Old Pueblo Cellars in Tucson, AZ. Proudly serving enthusiasts since 1974, this eight-acre vineyard grows six different types of grapes for a wide range of flavor profiles. They offer wine tastings and will even work with you to hold special events and parties. Visit the website to learn more, or call (520) 551-1011 to reserve your spot in the tasting room.