Ancient Ways Of Wine-making

Thankful so much for answering my questions so quickly....but I have one more question.. Would it have been possible for the ancients in olden days or bible days to make grape juice without any alcohol content with their basic Technology back then? Because from what I understand it's a certain yeast that was needed to start the fermentation process and if it was possible how would they have done it? Thank you very much...i await ur response

Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

Let me see if I understand the question, which raises some intriguing points. No doubt, as soon as human beings discovered fruit in the wild, they realized that certain types yielded a delicious sweet juice. Grapes were likely but not exclusive candidates. If, however, grape juice is left in its natural state and without cooling of any kind, it will begin to ferment by the actions of naturally occurring yeasts. This is probably how the first wine was created. Then, rather quickly, the wine would spoil and turn to vinegar with the intervention of other yeasts and bacteria. The basic process is still used today in the sense that ambient yeasts found on grapes and winery surfaces are favored by some winemakers. There are of course various modifications and controls to avoid spoilage and achieve a desirable end (including the addition of sulfur dioxide, filtration, and low temperatures). It is also true, as you suggest, that yeasts developed in a laboratory are used in modern times to inoculate the juice and conduct fermentation. Such yeasts are typically selected for specific traits and purposes. Does this help clarify your thoughts?

About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

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