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Winemaking Terms -Madre Vino to Maltase

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Madre Vino:

Spanish for Mother Wine, grape juice or must boiled down to one third or a quarter of its original bulk and used in parts of Spain and France for the improvement and fortification of young fully fortified wines. In Italy it is called calamich.

Malic Acid:
 
A naturally occurring acid found in apples, cherries, grapes grown in less sunny regions, and certain other fruit. It is the presence of malic acid, along with Bacillus gracile, which sometimes produces malo-lactic fermentation.

Malolactic Fermentation:
 
MLF for short, this is a bacterial fermentation which can occur after yeast fermentation winds down or finishes. The bacterium Bacillus gracile converts malic acid into lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Lactic acid is much less harsh than malic and thereby softens and smooths the wine, but the wine also is endowed with a cleaner, fresher taste. In addition, diacetyl (or biacetyl) is produced as a byproduct, which resembles the smell of heated butter and adds complexity to wine. MLF is a positive event in some cases and has a downside in others--the fruitiness of wines undergoing MLF is diminished and sometimes off-odors can result. To ensure MLF, the wine should not be heavily sulfited and it should be inoculated with an MLF culture. If MLF occurs after bottling, it produces a slightly carbonated wine which may or may not be appreciated.

Maltase:

An enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis maltose to glucose. 
Source: Jack Keller

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