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Term Definition
Carbonic Maceration

Grapes are usually crushed before fermentation: the yeasts convert the sugars present in the grape juice in the vat.

In Carbonic Maceration, whole (uncrushed) grapes are placed in a vat and fermentation is started under a layer of carbon dioxide - to keep the wine fresh by keeping out oxygen. This means that the juice is fermented INSIDE the grape.

This technique is common in Beaujolais. It produces wines that are fruity and very low in tannins. It is ready to drink very young, but doesn't age well. Beaujolais nouveau is probably the most famous wine produced by carbonic maceration: this is ready to drink after only about 6 weeks of harvesting.

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