Wine Word of the Week: Cap



By Kori ~ October 4th, 2011.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is cap.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Cap (chapeau in French) is the layer of grape solids that floats on the liquid surface during red wine fermentation and requiring careful cap management. The cap usefully limits the amount of oxygen available to the yeast, thereby encouraging the formation of alcohol, but has to be broken up and submerged in order to encourage the extraction of the desirable phenolics which add color, flavor, and longevity to the wine.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Cap is the solid cake of skins that floats on top in the vessel during red wine fermentation. It has to be regularly broken up to reintegrate the skins into the juice.


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