Definition - What does Mutage mean?

Mutage is a procedure of making sweet wine by adding alcohol to the musts, which contains yeast formation and stops the fermentation process. This process gives wine a sweet taste. As a result, this wine making process is used to produce sweet wine with higher alcohol content. Mutage is mostly used to produce Vin Doux Naturel and other fortified wines.

WineFrog explains Mutage

This process of making sweet wine has been in practice since the 13th century, when Arnau De Vilanova discovered this procedure. Mutage became a game changer for fortified wines.

The main purpose of this method in the wine making process is to stop alcoholic fermentation. Since getting rid of yeast will stop the sugar from converting into alcohol, the sweetness of the wine depends on how early sulfur dioxide or grape spirit is added. The earlier the sulfur dioxide or grape spirit is added, the sweeter the wine will be. Also, the maceration period contributes towards the sweetness of the wine, which is also a key contributor in Vin Doux Naturel.

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