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Whole clusters

In winemaking, “whole clusters” refers to fermenting grapes that are still attached to their stems, as opposed to destemming the grapes before fermentation. Whole cluster fermentation is a winemaking technique that is commonly used for red wine grapes, particularly those that are known for producing wines with high levels of tannins and structure.

During fermentation, the yeast consumes the sugars in the grapes, and the stems can provide a source of additional tannins, which can contribute to the structure and longevity of the wine. Additionally, the stems can also provide additional aromas and flavors to the wine.

The decision on how many whole clusters to use depends on the grape variety, the vineyard, the winemaker’s desired outcome, and other factors. The proportion of whole clusters to destemmed grapes can be adjusted to suit the winemaker’s desired outcome. Some winemakers choose to use a higher percentage of whole clusters to achieve a more tannic and structured wine, while others use a lower percentage to achieve a softer and fruitier wine.

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