Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

(amélioration in French, Anreicherung in German), winemaking operation whereby the fermentable sugars of grape juice or must are supplemented in order to increase the alcoholic strength of the resultant wine. This is traditionally and habitually done to compensate for natural underripeness in cool regions or after particularly cool summers in warmer regions. The original process, often generally called chaptalization after its French promulgator chaptal, involves adding sugar, whereas the wider term enrichment encompasses the addition of sugar, grape must, concentrated grape must, and rectified concentrated grape must, or RCGM, and is the term favoured in official eu terminology. According to a 2012 report, in Europe an average of 55 million hl (1,453 million gal) of wine are enriched every year, corresponding to 30% of total EU wine production; 27 million hl of wine are enriched using concentrated must or RCGM, and 28 million hl using sucrose, using 5 million hl of must and 90,000 tonnes of sucrose.