May 18, 2024


The Fashion Inside

Wine: How Fortified Wines Are Made

2 min read

Fortified wines are just that – fortified by grape spirit (brandy). The alcohol what have been added, have two effects: to kills the wine yeast and stop the alcohol fermentation. There are many different styles of fortified wine have been made: from port and Madeira, right through to Marsala, Malaga, and sherry. To find out exactly how much alcohol need to add, winemakers using fortification calculator.

Port is a fortified wine produced exclusively in hot, dry Douro valley, in northern Portugal. It’s getting fortified halfway through its fermentation, which stops the process so that not all of the sugar is turned into alcohol. There are a lot of grape varieties which can be used in the Port production, but only five (Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tempranillo, Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional) are widely cultivated and used for that vinification. There are two basic categories of port: some is maturing in wooden barrels, also known as “oxidative” aging. Other is maturing in the bottle, also known as “reductive” aging.

Sherry is fortified wine made from white wine in southern Spain. There are two basic styles of sherry: pale, delicate fino and manzila and dark nutty amontillado and oloroso, all made from the Polomino grape. Mostly Sherries are dry because they get fortified after fermentation is complete. Some sweetness can be added later during maturation.

Madeira is a fortified wine produced in the Madeira Islands. Back in the 1500s, Madeira natives have added brandy to their wines so they can last longer during their long ocean journeys. The wine can be made in a variety of styles ranging from dry wines which can be consumed on their own as an aperitif, to sweet wines more usually consumed with different dessert.Madeira is normally a drink-now wine, but also can be age as well.

Marsala is a fortified wine coming from Sicily, which can be made as fortified or unfortified version. The fortified version is blended with grape brandy to make two styles, the Fine, which is at least 17% alcohol and need to be age at least four months; and the Superiore, which is at least 18%, and aged at least two years. The unfortified Marsala wine matures in wooden cask for five or more years to rich the strength of 18% alc. by evaporation.

Malaga is a sweet fortified wine originating in the Spanish city of Malaga.The Malaga wine are produced from Pedro Ximenez and Muscatel grapes. Malaga wine must actually be aged in the city of Malaga to earn the name. Malaga is regulated by the Consejo Regulator.

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