Wine Word of the Week: Punching down

By Kori ~ October 11th, 2011.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is punching down.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Punching down is the winemaking operation of breaking up and submerging the cap of skins and other solids during red wine fermentation to stop the cap from drying out, to encourage the extraction of color and tannins, and to encourage useful aeration in the making of a deeply colored red wine. …. It is usually done between one and three times a day depending on the fermentation rate.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Punching down is the process of breaking up the cap during red wine fermentation. In order for color, tannins, and other flavor compounds to be extracted from the skins, the skins have to be in the juice, not on top of it.

Filed under: Wine Word of the Week

Reader's Comments

  1. TheGourmetCoffeeGuy | October 11th, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Always enjoy your word of the week and this is no exception. Thank you for doing this post!

  2. Kori | October 11th, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    My pleasure! So glad that you are enjoying the Wine Word of the Week series. Cheers!