Wine making in France is not only a very economically viable activity but is also considered to be no less than any form of art. It is often referred to as an expression of one’s creativity and the maker is literally considered to be an artist.
There are many different varieties of French wines. The most crucial factors that create differences in the kind of wine being prepared are, the choice of territory, the climate, the date of harvest, grape variety, the kind of container in which fermentation takes place, the temperature at which the grape juice is maintained during fermentation, the exact period of fermentation, and the type of container in which maturation takes place. All these factors are important determiners of the kind of wine which is ultimately made, its taste, color and peculiar smell.
In total, there are eleven suggested steps in wine making. These are plantation or grafting of a vine stock, growing of a grape bunch, subsequent harvesting of the grapes, de-stemming (only for red wines) and crushing the grapes, alcoholic fermentation of the liquid, maceration (only for red wines), raking the wine, malolactic fermentation, maturation of the wine, bottling the wine and finally, tasting the wine. The steps may be altered or changed depending on the kind of wine to be produced.
There is no one particular way to make wines. The methods of wine making differ from not only region to region but also from one wine maker to another. That is what makes the different kinds of wine available to the people. However, there are certain guidelines given to the wine makers and the vineyard owners as to how the process of wine making should be carried out. These simply provide frameworks to wine making and do not serve as rigid rules.