(French) Spirit distilled to a maximum of 96% abv; literally, ‘water of life’.
(German) Noble rot.
(German) Individual vineyard.
(German) Sweet wine made from frozen grapes.
(Spanish) Produced (by).
Elevé en fûts de chêne
(French) Aged in oak barrels.
(Spanish) Bottled (by).
(French) Wines, especially from Bordeaux, that are sold before they are bottled.
A producer who makes wine from grapes grown on their property only.
(Portuguese) Heating process used in the production of Madeira, to caramelise the sugars in the wines.
(French) Off-dry (sparkling wines).
(German) In the Wachau, a category lying in between Steinfeder and Smaragd (q.v.).
The tails (q.v.). Fraction of the second distillation of Scotch malt whisky.
The conversion, by the action of yeast enzymes of sugar to alcohol.
(Italian) A naturally produced sparkle in a wine.
Removal of matter in suspension in a wine by the addition of a fining agent such as bentonite (q.v.), which acts as a coagulant. Occasionally animal products are used, making such wines unsuitable for vegetarians, although none of the fining agent remains in the wine.
The acidity in wine detectable only on the palate (cf. volatile acidity [q.v.]), composed of tartaric, malic and lactic acids.
(Spanish) Yeast growth which forms particularly on the surface of Fino and Manzanilla Sherries, giving them a distinctive taste and protecting them from oxidation.
The heads (q.v.) fraction of the second distillation of Scotch malt whisky.
(Italian) Slightly sparkling.
Toxic by-products of distillation, containing long-chain hydrocarbons, removed as part of the tails (q.v.).
(Portuguese) A superior wine with additional ageing.
(German) A commune.
Traditional cask, used in Hungary for ageing Tokaji.
(Italian) Vini?cation technique, occasionally used in the production of Chianti, in which a small quantity of semi-dried grapes or concentrated must is added to the wine after fermentation to induce a slight secondary fermentation, increasing the glycerine content of the wine.
The union of a small piece of one plant, including a bud (the scion [q.v.]) on to a supporting rootstock (q.v.). In viticulture the most important use is the grafting of a V. vinifera scion on to a rootstock having some American parentage and thus tolerant of phylloxera.
Grains Nobles (Sélection de ),
(French) Botrytis-affected grapes (wine made using a selection of nobly rotten grapes). This is a legal description in Alsace, but the phrase may occasionally be seen on wines from other regions, such as Condrieu, Mâcon and Côteaux du Layon.
(Spanish) A wine that has seen long ageing in cask and bottle. Minimum periods are set by law and vary from one region to another.
(Spanish) Tank-fermented sparkling wine.
Grains of barley which have been soaked and which have started to germinate, converting the stored starch into sugar. When dried in a kiln, green malt becomes malt (q.v.).
Malevolent form of Botrytis cinerea (q.v.), affecting unripe berries or black grapes, causing off-flavours and lack of colour.
Ground grains, such as barley.
(German) A group of adjoining vineyards. Not to be confused with Einzellage.
(French) Hydraulically operated, computer-controlled racks for mechanical remuage (q.v.).
(French) The dressing (foil etc.) that a bottle of sparkling wine receives before it is dispatched from the winery.
A process that allows an established vineyard of one variety to be grafted over to another, more profitable variety, without having to grub up and replant.
The first ‘fraction’ to be vaporised during distillation: containing, in addition to ethanol, volatile and toxic compounds such as methanol.
A vine variety resulting from the cross-pollination of two vines of different species, usually one V. vinifera and one of American origin to breed in tolerance of phylloxera. Also called interspecific crossing.
The supply of water to the vine by means of artificial canals, Flooding, overhead sprays or drip systems on individual vines. Until recently, this was forbidden in EU vineyards except for young vines not in production, and experimental vineyards. It is used widely elsewhere.
(German) German QmP category, indicating wine made without chaptalisation from grapes harvested at ordinary ripeness.
(Portuguese, Spanish) Trough, generally made of stone or concrete, used for treading grapes. Superseded in most regions by more modern methods, but still occasionally used in the Douro.
The sediment of dead yeast cells that gathers at the bottom of the tank or cask once fermentation is completed.
A process of mixing the lees (q.v.) with the wine, usually in cask, to help extract components that will give the wine extra flavour and body.
(French) A named vineyard site not of Premier Cru or Grand Cru status.
A sedimentary rock consisting mainly of calcium carbonate. Its drainage, and water-retention properties make it particularly suitable for viticulture. The calcium content inhibits the uptake of acid-neutralising potassium, thereby helping grapes retain their acid.
(French) Final adjustment to the sweetness of sparkling wine prior to corking. Also called dosage
Liqueur de tirage
(French) Mixture of wine, sugar and yeast added to still wine to promote a secondary fermentation in sparkling wine production.
(French) Very sweet, especially botrytis-affected wines.
(Italian) Strong, often fortified, wine.
Literally, ‘loose’. A very fine, wind-blown deposit of silt, or sand and silt. Like clay soils (q.v.), they have a high capacity for retaining water.
The water-white liquid with an alcoholic content of around 30% abv which results from the first distillation of Scotch malt whisky. Cf. brouillis (q.v.).
(French) A form of viticulture that, although not organic, attempts to avoid unnecessary systematic use of synthetic chemicals.
Period of time when the skins are in contact with the fermenting must during red wine vinification.
Conversion of harsh malic acid into softer lactic acid by the action of lactic bacteria.
Barley which has undergone the malting process of soaking, germination and kilning to convert the starch present in the original grain into fermentable sugar.
(French) A grape-grower who also makes wine, especially in Champagne.
(French) 1. The residue of skins pips and stalks left in a press after the extraction of juice or wine. In English, this is called pomace. 2. The name given to one charge of a traditional vertical press, especially in Champagne.
The mix of grains in a whisky.
1. A company that buys grapes or finished wine for vinification, maturation and blending before sale. 2. A wine dealer
Site climate (q.v.).
(Italian) Tank-method sparkling wine.
Metodo classico, metodo tradizionale
(Italian) Traditional method, bottle-fermented sparkling wine.
1. The climate within the canopy of the vine. 2. Used informally to refer to the site climate, or mesoclimate (q.v.).
(French) Vintage date.
Mise en bouteille (par)
(French) Bottled (by)
Mise en bouteille au chateau/domaine
Mise sur lie
(French) Bottled on its lees.
(French, Spanish) A mixture of unfermented grape juice and alcohol.
(French) A vineyard, especially in Burgundy, that has only one owner.
(Italian) Reduced, concentrated grape must, used as a sweetening agent.
(Italian) Noble rot (q.v.).
Unfermented grape juice, destined to become wine.
The addition of sugar or rectified concentrated must to grape juice prior to fermentation to increase the final alcoholic content of the wine. Strict controls govern its use (cf. chaptalisation).
Density, or specific gravity, of grape juice prior to fermentation. Measurement of the must weight enables the winemaker to estimate the ?nal alcoholic content of the wine.
(French) Merchant (q.v.).
Benevolent form of Botrytis cinerea (q.v.) which concentrates the sugars of ripe grapes, facilitating the production of the ?nest sweet wines.
German scale for measuring must weight (q.v.).
Powdery mildew (q.v.).
A wine made from organically farmed grapes; that is, one where synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilisers have not been used.
Most commonly used of Rum. Any spirit that is higher in alcohol than proof spirit (q.v.).
(French) Grapes that have begun to shrivel on the vine, resulting in a concentration of sugars.
(Italian) A generally strong, sweet wine made from partially dried grapes.
Downy mildew (q.v.).
(French) Lightly sparkling.
(French) In Bordeaux, one of the many château brands that fall outside the classifications.
The conversion of carbon dioxide and water to usable organic compounds, especially carbohydrates, by plants, using light energy absorbed by the green chlorophyll in the leaves.
The most serious insect pest of the vine. It feeds on its roots and, in the case of European V. vinifera, will kill it. There is no known way of eradicating the louse, but its effect can be stopped by grafting the V. vinifera scion (q.v.) on to American rootstock.
Traditional cask (q.v.) used in the Douro for Port production. Two sizes are recognised, the 550-litre production, or Douro, pipe and the 534-litre shipping pipe.
(Italian) A small estate.
(French) Noble rot.
Fungus which attacks the vine, initially appearing as ?oury white dust on the leaves and grapes, eventually causing the grapes to split. Also known as Oidium.
(German) The various subcategories of German Quality wines (Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, as well as Eiswein). Austria adds the category Ausbruch, but does not include Kabinett.
Aromas in a wine that arise directly from the fruit (q.v. secondary, tertiary).
Removal of unwanted parts of the vine, mostly wood that is one year old, or less, in order to regulate the yield and control the vine’s shape. The main pruning, usually carried out by hand, is during the vine’s dormant period in the winter.
(French) Rack consisting of two hinged boards through which holes have been bored to hold the necks of sparkling wine bottles during remuage (q.v.).
Measure of sweetness in a Tokaji wine.
(Portuguese) Farm or estate.
Drawing off clear wine from a cask or vat and moving it to another, leaving the sediment behind.
(Italian) Similar to passito (q.v.), made with part-dried grapes.
(French) Someone who harvests their own grapes.
(French) Vintage or harvest.
The second column of a Coffey or patent still, in which the alcohol rich vapour from the analyser (q.v.) is condensed to form spirit, while heating the cold wash. Heads and tails are removed here.
Hand-held instrument consisting of a prism and a series of lenses used for gauging the must weight (q.v.) of grape juice to assess the ripeness of the fruit.
(French) ‘Riddling’. Moving the sediment to the neck of the bottle prior to dégorgement (q.v.) in traditional method sparkling wine production.
(Portuguese, Spanish) For Spanish DO and DOC wines this indicates ageing in cask and bottle for legally de?ned minimum periods. For other wines, such as those of Chile, it has no legal meaning.
May indicate a superior quality wine, or wines that have seen a period of ageing. Or it may indicate very little. This word has no legal meaning.
Unfermented sugar remaining in the wine after bottling. Even dry wines will contain a small amount.
(French) Sweet (sparkling wines).
(Italian) Reserve, for DOC wines, one that has been aged in cask and/or bottle for a particular length of time.
Phylloxera-resistant or tolerant vine, usually with some American parentage, on to which a V. vinifera scion is usually grafted. (Rootstocks may be selected to achieve other effects, such as lime-, or nematode-resistance, or to increase or decrease yields.)
Section of plant material grafted on to a rootstock. For wine making, this will be V. vinifera grafted on to American rootstock (q.v.).
(Portuguese, Spanish) Dry.
Aromas in a wine that arise from the fermentation (q.v. primary, tertiary aromas).
(German) A German category for quality dry wines from single vineyard sites.
Particularly of Malt Whiskies, a spirit that is not a blend of several casks. These are often bottled unfiltered, at cask strength (q.v.).
The climate of a plot of vines, perhaps a vineyard, or part of a vineyard.
(German) In the Wachau (Austria), rich, full-bodied dry wines from late-harvested grapes.
System of fractional blending used in the production of Sherry, wherein older wine is refreshed by the addition of younger wine.
(German) German quality wine category, indicating a wine made without chaptalisation from late-harvested grapes.
(Italian) Sparkling wine made by any method.
A short cane (q.v.) of one-year-old wood with two or three buds.
(German) In the Wachau (Austria), the lightest bodied wine category for dry wines.
US. A whiskey made from at least 51 per cent of one grain, distilled to no more than 80% abv, and aged for a minimum of two years in new oak casks.
(Italian) Very old, particularly of Marsala and spirits.
(German) Sweet wine made from grapes that have been dried on straw or reed mats.
Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
Highly reactive and pungent gas which is used in winemaking as an anti-oxidant and antiseptic. May be added to wines and musts as gas in the form of metabisulphite (solid) or produced in an empty cask by burning a sulphur candle (additive E220).
Bordeaux Châteaux that were second (or third) growths in the 1855 Classification, but which sometimes produce wines that rival the first growths for quality. Which châteaux qualify is a matter of debate.
(French) Indicates a higher degree of alcohol.
(Italian) Superior. For DOC wines this may mean that it came from the best vineyards within the region, had been aged longer or had a higher degree of alcohol.
(French) A wine that is aged on its lees (q.v.).
(French) Ageing of a bottle of sparkling wine, neck down, after yeast autolysis is complete, but before disgorgement.
(German) Unfermented, sterile grape must added to dry wine prior to bottling to increase sweetness and balance excess acidity. Not to be confused with must enrichment (q.v.).
Chemicals used to combat fungal diseases of the vine by being absorbed into its tissues, rather than remaining on the surface.
As it comes’. Wine made from grapes that have not been sorted according to their degree of botrytis.
(French) 1. Pruning. 2. The juice resulting from the second pressing of grapes in Champagne.
The third fraction collected during distillation, containing ethanol and a number of less volatile compounds, many of which are toxic.
Chemical compound present in the skins, stalks and pips of grapes which is extracted during red wine vinification. Tannin is a preservative in red wine, giving a dry sensation on the gums when present.
The acid responsible for most of a wine’s acidity. Detectable only on the palate. May be added to wines lacking acidity in warm vineyard regions.
(French) A sense of place expressed in a wine, which may include the effects of climate, site climate, soils, aspect, slope, and even local grape varieties, yeast cultures and winemaking practices.
Aromas in a wine that are due to the effects of ageing (q.v. primary, secondary aromas).
(Portuguese, Spanish) Red.
(French) 900 litres. A unit of volume used in the Bordeaux trade, equal to 100 cases of twelve 75cl bottles of wine.
Any manmade system of support for the vine, usually consisting of posts and wires.
Tri (pl. Tries)
(French) A selection of grapes, especially those grapes picked during one passage through a vineyard, selected at the perfect level of ripeness for sweet wines.
(French) Process of sorting grapes according to quality before winemaking.
(German) The sweetest category of German quality wine.
(Italian) Blend of grapes.
Vara y Pulgar
(Spanish) A system of vine pruning used in Jerez.
(Italian) Old. For DOC wines there are controls as to how this word may be used.
(French) The wine harvest.
Vendangé à la main
Vendange Tardive, VT
(French) Late-harvest. A wine made with exceptionally ripe grapes.
(French) The moment when a grape begins to change colour.
(French) Old vines. Not a legally defined term.
Vin de paille
(French) Wine made from grapes that have been dried.
Vin de rebèche
(French) Any juice remaining in the grapes after the extraction of the taille (q.v.) in Champagne. It must be distilled and cannot be made into wine.
One of a number of recognisable members of a particular vine species. They may result from natural mutation or deliberate crossing (q.v.).
Any of the members of the genus Vitis. Most wine is made from European species, Vitis vinifera, but using American rootstocks from the species V. rupestris or V. riparia.
(Portuguese) A plot of vines.
(Spanish, Italian) Wine.
(Spanish) Fortified wine.
(Italian) New wine, bottled shortly after the harvest.
(Italian) Grape variety.
(Italian) ‘Lively’. Slightly sparkling.
Acetic acid (q.v.) in a wine. A small amount exists in all wines and is an important part of the aroma or bouquet. Excessive amounts indicate a faulty wine.
Any alcoholic liquid resulting from fermentation which is destined to be distilled.
(German) Co-operative cellar.
The sweet liquid resulting from the extraction of sugar from malt, which is fermented to give wash (q.v.) in whisky production.
Generic term for a number of single-celled micro-organisms which produce zymase, the enzyme responsible for converting sugar into alcohol. The most important wine yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Breakdown of dead yeast cells after the secondary fermentation in sparkling wine production. Among other things, it gives the wine a yeasty, or biscuit-y, nose.