Technique

Mastering Wine Acid Balance

For the most part, winemaking is relatively simple, unless you run into some serious problem. But occasionally it does throw a curve ball at you with, for example, an acid level that’s just not to your liking. And this happens more often than not when making wine from grapes or fresh juice. Mother Nature can only work so hard to deliver a perfectly balanced harvest of wine grapes. Then you’re left hanging at the crusher or press wondering if you should make any adjustments, and at what point. If you consider the pH as an additional factor which will likely change if you have to adjust acidity, the changes that will happen during the alcoholic (AF) and malolactic (MLF) fermentations and tartrate (cold) stabilization, you’ll have a case of winemaker’s anxiety. And to add to that, you’re just not quite sure what (total acidity) number you should shoot for. Here, we take a closer look at acidity in juice and wine, understand what happens to the different acid components throughout winemaking, how to predict acidity changes, and how to use