Step by Step Guide to Making White Wine

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

The process of making white wine, whether from juice or grapes is dramatically different from the process of making red wine. Some key differences are skin contact time, ideal pH, fermentation temperature, aging time, oak usage and usage of malolactic fermentation. At a glance, making white wine is a bit simpler than making red wine. There are certainly a lot less processes involved on paper. In reality, this is not necessarily the case though. White wines are extremely delicate compared to their red counterparts. Even the mildest of flaws or faults can dominate the taste and ruin an otherwise good wine. Here are the steps that I take when making a white wine...

White Wine in Glass

Crush and Press

If making white wine from grapes, the first step will be crushing and destemming the grapes. This can be done extremely quickly in the home with a hand crank style crusher-destemmer. Most crusher-destemmers have the ability to adjust the gap between the crushing wheels. Adjust this close enough to pop the berries, but not so close that it is crushing any seeds to avoid excess release of harsher seed tannin.