By Kori ~ December 14th, 2010.
This weekâ€™s Wine Word of the Week is Ã©levage.
Official definition from Jancis Robinsonâ€™s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Ã‰levage is a French word that describes an important aspect of winemaking but has no direct equivalent in English. Ã‰levage means literally â€˜rearingâ€™, â€˜breedingâ€™, or â€˜raisingâ€™ and is commonly applied to livestock, or humans as in bien Ã©levÃ© for â€˜well brought upâ€™. When applied to wines, it means the series of cellar operations that take place between fermentation and bottling, suggesting that the winemakerâ€™s role is rather like that of a loving parent who guides, disciplines, and civilizes the raw young wine that emerges from the fermentation vessel. The word Ã©levage implies that all this effort is worth it, and is therefore normally applied only above a certain level of wine quality.
Laymanâ€™s terms from Kori:
Ã‰levage is a French word that describes a wineâ€™s maturation, usually in barrel, during the winemaking process.
Filed under: Wine Word of the Week