To make wine there are a number of processes that the wine grapes must be put through. First of all you must grow the grapes and then harvest them; once this is completed the grapes must be put through the initial grape juice process and taken to the winery, where the grapes will be crushed, fermented, raked, aged, stabilized and pasteurized. Let us take a look at the process with a bit more detail:
Growing and harvesting your wine grapes: naturally wine grapes are grown in the outdoors on a vine. Good quality wine grapes are classed by their level in sugar, the higher the sugar level, the better the grape and therefore the better the wine. Harvesting your grapes is recommended to be done in the dry season because water will alternate the grapes and lower their sugar level and gain bad quality which will change the taste of your wine. For good quality grapes always harvest them when they are dry.
Grape juice process: there are two ways of achieving grape juice, the first being the traditional method of placing all of the grapes into a large barrel and stomping on them with bare feet, this process can take a lot longer as the stalks have to be removed by hand. The other method is juicing the grapes using a special machine that removes the stalks automatically and is a lot faster to complete the juicing process.
Fermentation: when beginning the process of fermentation you must first mix the grape juice with yeast and store in a container at the appropriate temperature. Once the process has begun the yeast will turn the sugar in the grape juice into the alcohol needed. The wine should be fermented in the more traditional wooden barrel or in more modern stainless steel vessels. Depending on the wine you are making, the fermentation process can last for a shorter or longer amount of time.
Racking and aging: raking consists of keeping the wine completely still until the yeast has settled. After this the wine is filtered and placed into barrels to begin the aging process, again depending on the wine you want to make, the aging process can last from several months up to several years. Although no air should enter the barrels during this process, it is normal to mix the contents of barrels to achieve the taste wanted in your wine.
When your wine has been through all of the above methods, it will be ready to drink although the wine will be very young. Many people prefer to store the wine in a basement so that the wine can age for a longer period of time and therefore gain in taste and quality.