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

Pressing / Vatting

Pressing / Vatting

Pressing / Vatting : the entire harvest (or crushed grapes) is placed in a press (pneumatic or plate) and the berries are crushed, releasing the juice (still cloudy). It is collected in the trough (receptacle beneath the press) and pumped into a tank. 

  • Obtaining the must for making the wine, as maceration with the skins, seeds or stalks is not desired

The process for vinifying

white Bourgogne wines