Those of you who have been to the winery lately have noticed that it is tightly filled with fermentation tanks in a very chilly room! Some of you have tried your hand at punchdowns, too! There are many wonderful ways to make red wines and the list below explains their extraction styles.
Maceration~the contact of wine juice with skins and seeds (sometimes the rachis) in red wines during fermentation.
Punchdown~the act of pushing down the rising “cap” (skins, seeds and other grape material) back into the wine juice. Yeasts produce carbon dioxide during fermentation which forces the cap up. Punchdowns facilitate the extraction of anthocyanins (color) and other phenolics (flavor and aroma).
Delestage~or rack and return, is the act of siphoning out all of the juice in a red fermentation and returning it on top of the cap. This process is meant to oxygenate the wine for a more gentle extraction of harsh phenolics like long tannins.
Pump-Over~the act of pumping wine juice from the bottom of the fermentation tank and spraying it over the cap. Lightest extraction style.