Whole Bunch Fermentation

Whole-bunch fermentation and carbonic maceration are both associated with the Beaujolais region. And rightly so. The Gamay grape lends itself to the practice and the process is perfect for the production of Beaujolais Nouveau. But this region is certainly not the only region that employs the process. In Spain and France winemakers use the process on particularly tannic and rough varieties like Carignan to soften the characteristics. And there are other regions across the globe that do the same thing. In fact, whole-bunch, or whole-cluster, fermentation seems to be a buzz word right now and people are curious as to what it is and does.

In class the other night we were discussing fermentation and I was asked about whole-bunch fermentation. What is it? Why is it used? What does it do? Although the topic of whole-bunch, or whole cluster, fermentation was a bit out of the realm of this particular class, I briefly described the process. Today I came across these two articles in Decanter  magazine that does a great job of letting us know exactly what the process is and what it does. You can read them here and here.




Author: Kevin Cleary

I’m the author of Let’s Talk Wine and Food as well as the owner/educator of The Vermont Wine School, northern New England’s Premiere source for wine education. I hold the Diploma in Wine and Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. I am also a French Wine Scholar and have master level certifications in Bordeaux, Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence. When I am not tasting, drinking, reading or writing about wine you can find me on the golf course.

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