Say "Oui" to French Wines

Around the globe there are certain regions like Napa Valley and Asti that are famous for the wines they produce. But none of these wines command the respect earned by wines created in France.

French wines are made in a way that other countries just can't seem to duplicate. There seems to have been extra care sealed into every bottle of French wine. This thoughtful consideration adds a unique quality to the fine French wines that continue to lead today's wine market.

In the initial process, French winemakers crush the grapes as soon as they get to the cellar. This allows the winemakers to extract the most flavor from every grape, resulting in a French wine rich in taste and sure to please every palate.

Once the grapes have been crushed, the crushed grapes, or "must" is then transported to specialized tanks to ferment. The fermentation process is an essential step in making fine French wine. Without fermentation there will be no alcohol, resulting in simple grape juice.

The grapes used in the making of French wine have their own yeasts, sugars and naturally occurring chemicals. During the fermentation process, a change takes place in the chemical balance of the grapes. It's that chemical change that makes French wines so unique.

To reach optimal fermentation, the must is stored at a steady temperature of 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. Proper ventilation is another important element for smooth processing. With all of these conditions in place, the foundation is in place for vintners to create the French wines that have earned their place atop the list of the worlds finest.

The maceration process is the next step in the making of classic French wine. The wine takes on a rich color and body during this step. The color of wine is developed from the peel and natural tannin of the grape. The amount of "body" is determined by the amount of time the wine spends in maceration. Longer maceration will result in a more full-bodied wine, and many of the better French wines will take several weeks of maceration to reach their full potential.

The final processing stage is known as raking. All solids are removed, and more than one type of wine can be created from the mixture during this final phase. The pulped that has been "raked" from the wine can be squeezed to create pressed wine, or used in its natural form as free run French wine.

No one can deny that fine wines are created around the world. Still, there's something extra special about French wines. Whether the secret is in the grapes of France or the methods use to process them, no one can quite match the unique flavors and qualities of fine French wines.

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About The Author, Gideon Laston
Columnist Gideon Laston contributes to numerous popular Internet sites, on outlet shopping and shopping themes.