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.