Chaptalization

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Sometimes when making wine, the winemaker will discover, before it’s complete, that it will simply not possess enough alcohol, as a result of a poor or cold growing season. Not enough heat renders grapes with less sugar, translating into lower potential alcohol. So what to do? The answer is “chaptalization”. Here additional sugar is added to the fermenting juice. The yeast feeds on the added sugar creating more alcohol, not sweetness, in the finished wine. More common in cooler wine growing regions of the world, this process is sometimes not allowed and the winemaker has to make do with what Mother Nature dishes out. Just part of the ongoing balancing act every good winemaker faces!

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