Racking and Fining

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

The solid particles of grape and yeasts are cleared from the wine by the process of racking: letting the yeast cells and other large particles settle, carefully drawing the wine off the sediment into a new container, and repeating the process every few months. Interesting exceptions to this rule are wines intentionally aged for months or even years sur lie, or “on the lees,” in contact with the yeast sediment, whose cells slowly break apart and contribute more flavor and body to the wine. Champagne and Muscadet are two wines that are aged on the lees.