International Code of Oenological Practices

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Prefermentative cold maceration for making white wines

II.1.14 Prefermentative cold maceration for making white wines


Procedure involving the cold maturation of white grapes, destemmed or crushed and whole clusters. The mixture is held at a temperature for a period of time adapted to the sought after objective prior to pressing and fermentation.


To promote the release of skin compounds, notably aroma precursors using a diffusional and enzymatic procedure in order to increase the aromatic and gustatory complexity of wine


a)        Evaluate the health condition and maturity of grapes in order to determine the technique or diffusional, enzymatic or biochemical procedure sought after,

b)       Manage oxidative phenomena through appropriate means,

c)        Prevent a significant extraction of phenolic compounds from excessive sulphiting at too high of a temperature or for a too lengthy maceration period,

d)       Prevent microbial activity through appropriate hygiene and at an adapted controlled temperature,

e)       Determine length of maceration time based on grape characteristics and the sought after wine type.

Recommendation of the OIV