Vinifying white wines: pressing occurs before fermentation

The vinification process for white wines is slightly different to that for reds. Unlike with red wines, where the winemaker is seeking to extract tannins and color from the skins and pips through maceration, grapes for white wines are pressed immediately after harvest, usually without being destalked.

The juice is then put in oak barrels or vats and alcoholic fermentation occurs.
White wines in the Bourgogne region are then left to undergo a secondary malolactic fermentation, unlike white wines produced elsewhere. During malolactic fermentation, the malic acid in the juice turns to lactic acid, making the wines smoother.

Watch our animation about vinifying white wines to improve your knowledge!

Vinifying white wines

Burgundy white wine vinification

Alcoholic Fermentation / Racking

Alcoholic Fermentation / Racking

Malolactic Fermentation: microorganisms (lactic bacteria) transform the malic acid that is naturally present in the grapes into lactic acid. New aromas also appear.

The cold stops this fermentation, which is why it often only begins in the spring with the rise in temperatures. This reaction is also accompanied by the release of carbon dioxide. Most often this takes place in barrels. 

  • Wine acidity is slightly reduced giving wines with good aging potential and that are naturally more stable

The process for vinifying

white Bourgogne wines