Malolactic Fermentation

The Importance of Fermentation in Red Wine As Opposed to White Wine

Malolactic fermentation is a process that occurs mostly with red wines. In this process, lactic acid bacteria metabolizes the harsh flavors (apple comes to mind) of malic acid into lactic acid (also known as milk acid), which possesses soft, milky flavors. Malolactic fermentation has the ability to improve the wine’s flavor, turning it from rough and bitter (a result of a high concentration of malic acid) to soft and gentle. In our winery we add special bacteria which cause the malolactic fermentation to develop in a controlled manner.

The Process’s Sensitivity

Malolactic fermentation can occur naturally (spontaneously) or artificially. In most cases, winemakers will wait to see if the fermentation happens naturally, and if not, will add bacteria to start the process. In addition, the duration of this process is unpredictable, and can take quite a long time. The process is considered to be a critical process for winemakers, which is why we add special bacteria to the wine, ensuring malolactic fermentation commences.
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