Sherry: Winemaking

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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The harvest begins when the Palomino has reached a must weight of at least 11 °baumé, traditionally on 8 September. It lasts for about a month.

Grapes are loaded into plastic crates and transported to large automated wineries, where they are destalked and pressed. Most bodegas use horizontal plate or pneumatic presses to control the extraction rate, which may not legally exceed 72.5 l/19 gal of juice from 100 kg/220 lb of grapes (16% higher than the extraction rate permitted for champagne, for instance). Others, especially the co-operatives, use continuous de-juicers which tend to produce coarser wines with more solids and phenolics. Today acid levels are adjusted with the addition of tartaric acid prior to fermentation, and cold stabilization before bottling is usually essential.