A Toast to French Wines

Discriminating wine lovers raise their glasses to the unique blends created by international vintners. But few wines are celebrated as much as those 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 making French wine, the winemakers begin by crushing the grapes as soon as they get to the cellar. In this way, winemakers are able to extract the most flavor from every grape. The result is a fine French wine that's rich in taste and sure to please the most discriminating palate.

The next step is to transfer the crushed grapes, or "must", to specialized tanks for fermenting. The fermentation process is a necessary step in making fine French wine. Without fermentation there will be no alcohol, resulting in simple grape juice and disappointed buyers.

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.

In order to reach optimal fermentation, the must is kept at a steady temperature of 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. Proper ventilation is also required for smooth processing. Under these conditions, vintners are able to lay the foundation to create the types of French wines that have earned their place among 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.

During the final processing stage, the solids are removed from the wine in a process called "raking". It's interesting to note that more than one type of wine can be created during this phase. After raking, the resulting pulp can be used in its natural form as free run French wine, or it can be squeezed to create pressed 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
Freelancer Gideon Laston enjoys writing articles for numerous Internet magazines, on discount shopping and online shopping issues. Don't reprint this exact article. Instead, reprint a free unique content version of this same article.