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winemaking ABC
winery guide


      The best wines in the world (reds or whites) are usally age-worthy, sometimes for decades, depending of the varietal and wine style. It is this capacity to improve with time that makes these wines so desirable by the world wine collectors.

      These wines need to be stored in good conditions to improve gracefully. If you want to start building your wine cellar, you will need to have a temperature controlled room (artificially or naturally), with a constant humidity and away from any intense lighting.

It is important to cellar your bottles conditions to enjoy them later.

      The ideal condition is a constant 57 degrees room, with 75% humidity conditions. The fluctuations of temperature is one of the worst ennemy of wine aging. Usually, cooler the temperature is, longer the wine will age. Besides, if you want to avoid the cork to dry out, a certain level of humidity is necessary.

      The bottles should be laying down for the wines to be constantly in contact with the cork. When your cellar size is growing, it can be a good idea to attach on each bottle a small card detailing the date of purchase, wine's name, and the date it should be ready to drink. Do not forget to rotate your wine cellar and open the bottles before they turn bad!

      The difficult decision to make is to know when the wine is going to be at its apex. Usually, the wine professional uses the history of vintage of the same wine to decide of the wine aging potential of a particular wine. For example, the First Growth Chateau Latour has a long history of producing long lived wines (decades to century old for the exceptional vintage). So the wine taster can use this long history to judge the potential of a new Chateau Latour from the quality of the vintage.
      It is more difficult to judge the potential of the best wine made in the new world, because of the lack of historical background. However, a good analysis of the wine's balance and structure is still the best ally in deciding for its aging potential.