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carbonic maceration

Special process in red wine production. Other names are carbonic fermentation, carbonic acid fermentation, carbon dioxide fermentation, carbon or whole cluster fermentation or maceration. It is also known as fermentation because it begins during the maceration process. The process was discovered more or less by chance in France in 1934. A team of researchers was investigating the possibilities of keeping table grapes as fresh as possible over a longer period of time. The grapes were stored at 0 °C under a carbon dioxide protective gas envelope. After two months, they began to ferment. They were processed into wine that was lighter in colour, more fragrant and less tannic than with conventional mash fermentation. If carbon dioxide is present in a closed container, a very special type of fermentation takes place. It takes place without the influence of yeasts within the berries. This is why it is often referred to as intracellular fermentation.

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