Winemaking and temperature

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Temperature and temperature control are of critical importance in making good-quality wine (although great wine may have been made fortuitously, long before the theory of temperature control was understood and temperature was deliberately manipulated). Temperature has direct effects on the rates of the biochemical reactions involved in fermentation, and on the slower reactions involved in clarification and stabilization of wine. Years of experiment and calculation have demonstrated that most chemical reactions happen about twice as fast if the temperature is raised by 10 °C/18 °F—and it is for this reason that refrigeration slows down the reactions of harmful bacteria, as well as the reactions involved in ageing.