G L O S S A R Y 

 
 
 
 
 

A

Acid/Acidity Is an essential element in wine, helps to maintain freshness & balance. All wines contain various acids. Tartaric, Lactic, Malic.

To tell if a wine is high/low acid after you sip the wine lean your head downwards, if your mouth starts to water (almost drooling) you

have yourself a high acid wine!

High acid wines are generally from Cooler climates, cooler temperatures help to preserve the grapes acidity. Chablis (Burgundy, France) is a 

great example of a high acid wine made from the Chardonnay grape.

 

Aerobic requiring oxygen to operate

 

Ageing only 1% of the bottles produced in the world are to be aged. Ideal storage conditions 

for ageing wine- consistently cool, dark, quiet place. Full-bodied reds, Sweet whites and fortified wines

are all benefit from ageing. If in doubt, drink now, Better to drink a wine too young than too old.

 

Alcoholic Fermentation the conversion of sugar to alcohol by yeast in anaerobic conditions

 

Anaerobic Conditions Able to operate without oxygen

 

AOC - Appellation d'origine contrôlée (France) classification system used in France, a guarantee that a bottle has been made in specific region,

abides by local regulations which can include grape variety, alcohol levels, growing techniques and more! 

 

American Oak Type of wood used to make oak barrels. The Wood comes the East side of America. 

American oak characteristics- coconut and sweetened vanilla. Winemakers choose American oak typically for bold, powerful reds and warm climate

Chardonnays. More affordable than French Oak and less porous (does not let as much oxygen in)

 

B

Barrel or casks can be used throughout winemaking.

 

Barrel Aged Wine that has been matured in oak barrels, producing a softer wine and possibly adding oak flavours.

 

Barrel fermentation Better quality whites may be fermented in barrel producing a wine with subtle and complex wood flavours.

 

Barrel Maturation in reds & whites helps to soften the wine, if the barrels is new oak (barrel has not been used before) the wine will pick up aromas of ceder or vanilla. Barrels will also add additional tannin to the wine.

 

Barrique (France) Capacity is 225L Traditionally used in Bordeau & Champagne 

 

Base Wine Still wine used to create Champagne & Sparkling wine 

 

Bin A location, where the wine is stored eg. In a celler, where a particular wine is stored, Can be seen on labels used as a part of a brand name.

Commonly see on bottles of Penfolds.

 

Biodynamic Form of organic viticulture. Vine treatments are timed to match astronomical cycles. 

 

Blanc de blancs (France) White wine made from 100% white grapes, common term seen on  Champagne labels & sparkling 

 

Blanc de noirs (France) White wine made from 100% red grapes, common term seen on Champagne labels & sparkling

 

Blend A mixture of more then 1 grape variety, origin or age. Created to improve the balance of the wine/maintain a constant style

 

Blush term used throughout USA for a pale pink wine otherwise known as Rose 

 

Bodega (Spain) Winery 

 

Bordeaux Mixture Spray used to protect vines against anti fungal diseases, solution of copper sulfate and lime in water.

 

Brut means Dry, used in relation to sparkling wine 

 

Botrytis Cinerea fungus that attacks the berry & green parts of a vine. With the perfect conditions, misty mornings and sunny dry afternoons a desirable Noble Rot will develop concentrating the sugars in the ripe grapes producing a flavour profile of ginger, marmalade, apricots and honey, If the weather conditions the

Botrytis Cinerea creates the unwanted Grey Rot which will result in a wine having off-flavours and a lack of colour.

 

Bottle Fermentation Second fermentation the wine undergoes. Technique used in Champagne and other sparkling wine producing regions to give the wine its bubbles! Still wine is placed into a bottle with sugar and yeast- 2nd Fermentation begins, producing carbon dioxide gas inside the bottle and creating

a sparkling wine.

 

Bush Training Known as Goblet in France Training of vines as free-standing plants, no trellis support is needed,

commonly used in Beaujolais (France) Rhone Valley (Frane) 

 

C

Cane 1 year old wood on a vine, has been pruned to have 8-15 buds.

 

Cane pruning during winter pruning 1 or more canes are left on the vine to produce shoots for the next season, a system of vine pruning. This helps wine growers/makers estimate the yield for the next season.

 

Canopy trunk, leaves, stems, shoots and grapes of a vine, everything that you can see above ground

 

Canopy Management the  manipulation  of a vine and its canopy also includes training and pruning of the vine, can be done for numerous reasons- good

circulation of air through the vine, helps to prevent fungal disease, Shading of grapes (hotter climates) exposing grapes to the sun. 

 

Cap mass of skins and pulp floating on top of the juice in red-wine fermentation inhibits flavour and colour. 2 techniques are commonly used during this fermentation Punch-down and Pump-over. 

 

Carbonic maceration Whole, uncrushed grapes are fermented in a sealed vat containing a layer of carbon dioxide, fermentation happens within each individual berry, resulting in a fruity, soft, low tannin distinct red wines, ready to enjoy straight away. This is the method used throughout France's Beaujolais region

produced from the Gamay grape.

 

 

Cava (Spain) Sparkling wine 

 

Chaptalisation Technique used to increase Alcohol levels through the addition of sugar during wine making. Cooler climates in some years may not be able to produce grapes with sufficient natural sugar. 

 

Chateaux (France) translates into estate, often seen on bottles from Bordeaux, an estate growing/producing wine. 

 

Cordon cut is a technique used predomaaintly to produce sweet wine. The cordon(arm) of the vine is cut and the grapes are left to hang. The grapes are no longer receiving any water or nutrients from the vine. The grape slowly dehydrate and concentrate the sugars and intensify the flavour compounds. 

 

Classico (Italy) original zone of production within a DOC(G) region making wines typical of that region eg Chianti Classico

 

Climat (France) a vineyard site

 

Clos walled vineyard site, historical term and perhaps the walls no longer exist 

 

Continentality the difference between summer and winter temperatures. 

 

Cote/Coteaux (France) hill side eg, Cote d Or burgundy wines are coming from a hill called

Cote d Or which translates in English to "the golden slope"

 

Commune (France) a small wine producing region, usually surrounding a village

 

Corked wine that has been affected by a musty, mouldy, must taint from a defective cork. It is believed that 6% of wines using natural corks are corked, making the swap to a synthetic closure or screw cap (invited by a New Zealand man) a no brainer. 

 

Cremant (France) Sparkling made outside of the Champagne region although using the exact method known as method champenoise/ method traditionelle  

 

Cru (France) meaning growth or vineyard. Eg, Grand Cru wines coming from the best vineyard. 

 

Cuvee (France) A blend or it can mean the juice created from the first pressing in Champagne 

 

D

Decanting pouring wine from its original bottle into a decanter to allow the wine to be exposed to oxygen and let it breathe. Commonly used in old wines to separate the sediment which deposits at the bottom of the wine over time. 

 

Demi-Sec (France) medium-dry

 

Diurnal range the difference between day and night temperatures. A wide diurnal range helps to retain fruits aromas and acid, warm nights encourage sugar build up

 

Disgorgement removing the sediment that forms in the neck of the bottle following the second fermentation process used in the production of champagne

 

Domaine (France) estate 

 

DOC - Denominacao de Origem Controlada (Portugal) highest category of Portuguese wine, equivalent to AOC in France

 

DOCa - Denominacion de Origen Calificada highest category of Spanish wines

 

DO - Denominacion de Orgien (Spain) just below DOCa in the Spanish ranking system, classification of quality wines

 

DOCG -Denominazione di Origine controllata e garantita (Italy) highest quality classification for Italy wines, guarantees the wines will correctly represent the

region it is made in

 

DOC - Denominazione di Origine controllata (Italy) just below DOCG classification for quality wine  Dessert wine traditionally served with dessert or cheese this

wine contains large amounts of sugar 

 

Domaine (France) Estate 

 

Doux (France) Sweet

 

Dosage (France) referring to Champagne & Sparkling wine. During the disgorgement process a small amount of wine is lost, the bottle is topped off to its previous

fill level. The liqueur used contains a small amount of sugar known as dosage. If an extra brut wine is being made no sugar will be added. Dosage level can also depends on the age of the wine, younger wines tends to receive a higher dosage (more sugar) to balance out the acidity. 

 

Downy mildew Fungus appearing in downy patches on the leaves of a vine, reduces photosynthesis

 

Dry-farmed vines grown without irrigation 

 

E

Eiswein (Germany) Sweet wine made from grapes that are left on the vine to naturally freeze. Berries are pressed immediately after picking and the ice is removed, concentrating the must (unfermented grape juice)

 

En primeur wine sold by a producer before it is bottled. Very popular in Bordeaux allowing cash flow into the Chateaux.

 

Estate producers who makes wine from grapes grown on their property only

 

Extra Sec off-dry

 

F

Fermentation the process in wine-making where sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide brought on by a chemical reaction from the yeast

and bacteria. Fermentation stops when the yeast have consumed all the sugar. 

Fermentation can take place in numerous vessels most common are oak barrels, stainless steel tanks, concrete tanks and large wooden vats.

 

Filtration process of removing the unwanted particles from wine before bottling creating a clearer, brighter wine.

 

Fining process used to remove deposits in wine. Fining agents include, egg whites, milk, bentonite clay. The agent binds with the deposits and causes them to fall to the bottom of the cask.

 

First Growth (France) Used in Bordeaux, the best vineyards will use their best vineyard plots and grapes to create a wine and will be labeled First Growth.

 

Fortified wines that have received additional spirit, typically grape spirit during the fermentation process. Examples include Sherry, Port, Madeira

 

Frizzante (Italian) Slightly sparkling 

 

French Oak originating from the forests of France this type of wood has been used for centuries to create oak barrels/vats. French Oak has a reputation for producing the finest barrels for fermenting and maturing wine, 

 

G

Garage wine term given to wine produced in super low quantities usually fine wine, very expensive and made

a very small scale producers who usually has the bare minimum when it comes to equipment and in some cases they are working from out of their garage 

 

Goblet and ancient method of training a vine without and wires of support systems. Common in Beaujolais and Rhone valley in France. Best suited to vines planted on infertile soil in a warm and dry climate. In this humid environment  the vine is more susceptible to rot. Bushy architecture of the vine prevents evaporation of water from the fruit and foliage.

 

Grand Cru (France) translates into great vineyard. Grand Cru wines are are the highest ranking vineyards 

 

Grand vin (France) translates into great wine. Can be seen on the labels of AOC wine in France indicating the wine is of top wine of the estate 

 

Gran reserva (Spain) Red wine that has spent 18 months in oak minimum. Before release the wine must spend a total of 5 years in oak and bottle.

 

Grain nobles (France) botrytis-affected grapes 

 

Green harvesting removing grapes from the vine before harvest to allow the vine to concentrate its energies on ripening the grapes that remain 

 

 

H

Hybrid a plant created by two different vine species. 

 

Haut (France) translates into High, referring to quality and altitude

 

Herbaceous an aroma or flavour that is often an indicator of underipe grapes usually grown in cooler climates 

 

I

Ice wine - is the English word for eiswein,  

 

IGT - indicazione geografica tipica (Italy) wines from Italy labeled IGT are produced in a typical style of the region 

 

Irrigation the supply of water to the vines artificially. Can be through sprinklers, canals, flooding, drip systems.

 

J

Jeroboam bottle size of 3L, containing 4(750ml) bottles 

 

Joven (Spain) young wine made for early drinking, little or no oak maturation 

 

K

Kabinett (Germany) Category within the Pradikatswein (quality wine system) producing the most delicate wine making ideal aperitifs. Rieslings made in this style are light in body, high acidity, green apple, citrus flavours often balanced with residual sugar. Sweeter wines usually have between 8-9% alcohol and drier styles 12%

 

L

LBV Late Bottled Vintage (Portugal) Single vintage Port that has been matured in wood for 4-6 years before bottling 

 

Late Harvest grapes are harvested later when they have riper and more concentrated flavours producing sweeter styles of wine.

 

Lees sediment of dead yeast cells that gathers are the bottom of the holding vessel after fermentation has finished 

 

Lees stirring mixing the lees with the wine, to assist in extracting components that with give the wine additional flavour and body

 

Lieu Dit a named vineyard site

 

Liqueur d'expedition (France)  mixture of wine and sugar used to create the final adjustment to sweetness in a Champagne/Sparkling wine

 

Liqueur de tirage (France) mixture of wine, sugar and yeast added to still wine to promote a the second fermentation in Champagne/Sparkling wine production

 

M

Maceration process of soaking grape skins in fermenting must during red wine vinification 

 

Magnum 1.5L bottle 2 (750ml) wine bottles 

 

Malolactic Fermentation (MLF) Second fermentation, converting the harsh malic acid (green apple) to softer lactic acid (milk) by the action of lactic and acid bacteria. Most red wine undergo MLF, white wine is dependant on the style of wine desired by the wine maker.

 

Manipulant (France) Common term in Champagne, winemaker who also grows his own grapes 

 

Mesoclimate site climate 

 

Mirco climate the climate within the vine canopy or used to refers to the site climate, mesoclimate

 

Methode Traditionelle (France) Sparkling wine made using the exact same method and techniques used in Champagne, second bottle fermentation.

 

Monopole (France) common term in Burgundy, refers to a vineyard with a single owner

 

Must unfermented grape juice

 

Must enrichment addition of sugar to the must before fermentation 

 

Must weight density of grape juice before fermentation, measuring this amount allows the winemaker to estimate the alcohol content of the finished wine

 

Mutage (France) stopping fermentation before its complete with the addition of grape spirit, used to create fortified wine

 

N

Negoicant Merchant. When grapes, must or wines from growers is purchased to bottle under their own label

 

Noble Rot develops from Botrytis cinerea, concentrating sugars of ripe grapes producing sweet wines

 

Non-vintage wine blended from grapes picked from more than a single year 

 

Oak  The type of wood favoured by winemakers to ferment and mature their wines. Can be either oak barrels or oak chips. The smaller the oak barrel used the more of a woody, vanila flavour will be imparted into the wine. Oak chips/staves will be submerged into a tank and impart less flavour and tannin.  

 

Organic  A wine made from organically farmed grapes, the following must not be used: synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and ferillisers.  

 

Passerillee (French) Grapes have shriveled on the vine, concentrating the sugars.  

 

Passito (Italy) Strong powerful wine made from dried grapes. The wine can either be sweet or dry, look for the following terms on the label:

 

Recioto (sweet) or Amarone (dry) 

 

Petillant (French) Lightly sparkling

  

Pierce's Disease Bacterial disease with no cure, the disease is spread by small insects known as sharpshooters and attacks the leaves of the vine. Common in Southern USA and South America.  

 

Phylloxera Vine Disease that devasted the vineyards of Europe at the end of the 19th centuary. A small insect that feeds of the roots of grapevines and eventually kills the plant. There is no cure, instead almost all European vines are grafted onto American rootstocks which are phylloxera resistant.  

 

Port Fortified sweet wine produced in the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal.  

 

Pradikat The various sub categories of German and Austrian PDO wines. The categories include, spatlese, auslese, beerenauslese, trockenbeerauslese and Eiswien, is does not include kabinett. 

 

Premier Cru (France) First Growth or first vineyard. In the Medoc region of Bordeaux the finest Chateaux are classified as Premier Cru. In Burgundy Premier Cru falls just below Grand Cru. 

 

Puttonyos (Hungary) Measure of sweetness in a Tokaj wine 

 

Q

Quinta (Portugal) Estate  

 

R

Racking Drawing off clear wine from a cask and moving it to another, leaving the sediment behind. 

 

Recioto (Italy) Wine made with partly dried grapes  

 

Recoltant (France) Someone who harvests their own grapes  

 

Recolte (France) Harvest  

 

Remuage (France) Moving the sediment to the neck of the bottle prior to the degorgment 

 

Reserva (Spain) Labelling term for Spanish wine. Certain minimum aging requirements depending on the wine. 

 

Reserve Could be superior quality wine, or the wine has been aged longer however this term has no legal meaning.  

 

Residual sugar Unfermented sugar remaining in the wine after bottling. Even dry wine will contain a small amount of residual sugar. 

 

Rootstock The root system of a vine. Today almost of vines consist of an American rootstock grafted onto European variety. 

 

Rosado (Spain) Rose  

 

Rosato (Italy) Rose  

 

 

S

Sec (France) Dry 

 

Secco (Italy) Dry 

 

Seco (Spain/Portugal) Dry 

 

Selection de Grains Nobles (France) Labeling term for the Alsace region in Northeastern France, it refers to the sweet wines that are made from botrytised grapes. 

 

Solera (Spain) System of blending used in the sherry industry and for other wines.  

 

Spatlese (German) A Pradikat wine category, wine made without chaptalisation from grapes  that fall within a certain range of must weights.  

 

Spumante (Italy) Sparkling wine, produced by any method 

 

Sulfur Dioxide Highly reactive and pungent gas, used in winemaking as a anti-oxidant and antiseptic.  

 

Sur Lie (France) Wine that has been aged on its lees (dead yeast cells) 

 

Suss (German) Sweet  

 

 

T

Tannin Chemical compound present in the skins, stalks and pips of the grapes, it is extracted during red wine vinification. Tannin is detected on the palette by the astringent mouth feel. Tannin aged structure to a wine and assists in preserving a wine.   

 

Tartaric Acid The acid responsible for the acid in wine. May be added to wine where the grapes are grown in warmer regions.  

 

Terroir (France) A word used to describe the overall growing environment of a vineyard. Including climate, soil, slope, exposure etc. 

 

Trellis Man made system used to support a vine 

 

Triage (France) Sorting grapes according to quality before the winemaking begins  

 

Troken (German) Dry 

 

Trokenbeeraulese (German) A Pradikat wine category, a wine made without chaptalisation from grapes that fall within a specific must weight. These wines are made with grapes that have been infected with noble rot and are sweet.  

 

V

Vendange Tardive (France)  Late-harvest, a labelling term found in Alsace, wine is made with late harvest grapes resulting in a sweeter wine.  

 

Versaion (France) The moment when a grape changes colour  

 

Vielles Vignes (France) Old vines  

 

Vin Doux Naturel (France) A sweet wine produced by adding spirit to the fermenting must before all the sugar has been converted to alcohol.  

 

Vin de Paille (France) Wine made from grapes that have been dried. 

 

Vin Santo (Italy) A dessert wine produced in the Tuscany region of Italy. The grapes have been dried on racks and the wine must be matured in casks for at least 3 years. 

 

Volatile acidity Acid that is detectable on the nose and the palette. High amount of Volatile acidity is considered to be a fault . 

 

Vitis Vinifera The species of vine responsible for the vast majority of the worlds vine.  

 

Y

Yeast single-cell fungus which is responsible for converting sugar into alcohol during fermentation. In many regions yeasts occur naturally on the skins of grapes and in the air.  

 

Yield Total amount of wine produced by a vine or vineyard in a vintage. Generally lower yields produce better quality grapes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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