Definition - What does Sugaring mean?

Sugaring also known as "Chaptalization" or "Enrichment" is a process that involves adding sugar to grape juice or must prior or during the fermentation cycle. The process was developed by a French chemist named Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal in 1815. The main purpose of using this method is to enhance the alcohol levels of the wine. It is commonly practiced in regions (Northern Europe) where cold weather conditions do not allow the grapes to fully ripen or produce sufficient levels of natural sugar for elevating the alcohol content in the wine.

WineFrog explains Sugaring

The legality of Sugaring or Chaptalisation varies by country, region or even the type of wine being produced. Some of the countries that permit the process of Sugaring in their specific regions include France (Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy & Champagne), United States (Long Island & Oregon). Whereas in Australia, California and Italy the law prohibits the winemakers to rely on Sugaring or Chaptalisation. Commonly, wine producers use cane or beet sugar for Sugaring their wines, while some wine regions only permit grape concentrate to be added.

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