Extended Maceration

Definition - What does Extended Maceration mean?

Extended maceration is the process by which the skins of grapes are left to soak for a longer period than normal time with wine or juice. This is done in order to extract and impart more color, aroma, flavor and texture into the juice or wine. When this is done with the unfermented juice, it is called cold-soaking.

WineFrog explains Extended Maceration

By having a wine undergo extended maceration, the result will be a wine with more tannin structure, more specifically, softer tannin. This is typically practiced when wines are made from exceptional grapes, sometimes even from single vineyards. When they undergo extended maceration, the wines' structure is altered which allows it to age better. It also makes the wine more stable as the concentration of polyphenols are increased that act a natural preservatives.

Extended maceration can only happen once the wine is fully fermented. Pump-overs can still be done in order to keep the cap wet, however, after a couple of weeks, the cap will eventually give way and sink into the wine. This process can last for as little as 3 days or up to 100 days.

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