Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

acidification is the winemaking process of increasing the acidity in a grape must or wine. This is a common practice in warm wine regions (as common as enrichment, or chaptalization, in cool wine regions), and is often the only course open to a winemaker wanting to make a balanced wine from grapes which have been allowed a growing season long enough to develop flavour by reaching full physiological ripeness. This is because in warm conditions a large amount of the grape’s natural malic acid is degraded during the ripening process. A good level of acids (and therefore low ph) not only increases the apparent freshness and fruitiness of many wines, it also protects the wine against attack from bacteria and spoilage yeasts such as brettanomyces, enhances the effectiveness of sulfur dioxide, and can improve colour (as explained under acidity).