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To submit your good news: What is Malolactic Fermentation? ...continued from page 23 Upbeat in Santa Rosa, CA!

It’s similar to primary fer- mentation, in that there’s a biological conversion of one product into another. In the case of “ML,” the process is done by bacte- ria rather than the yeast, which does the work in pri- mary fermentation. In ML the bacteria will naturally convert the Malic acid, which is found in grapes, into Lactic acid. The bac- teria usually work at a slightly slower pace than yeast, so the conversion usually takes longer to fin- ish than that of the primary fermentation. Some of the reasons

that a winemaker wants to convert the malic acid into lactic acid is that it makes the wine have a softer

feel. And more important, it makes the wine more stable during its ageing and bottling.

EVER WONDER WHY THERE’S A FIZZINESS IN YOUR WINE? If there’s remaining malic acid in the wine prior to bottling, the wine can be- come fizzy during certain conditions, such as expo- sure to heat. The warmth will activate the bacteria, which is normally in wine, and allow it to begin con- verting any remaining malic acid into lactic acid. If it happens while in a bot- tle, the cork will not allow the CO2 gases to escape. When the bottle is opened, it appears to be fizzy due

to the trapped CO2. The whole ML process

has some very complex chemistry, and the above explanation is a very broad overview of the pro- cess. I hope this helps to get a handle on Malolactic Fermentation. In the meantime, keep enjoying Russian River wines!! So, there you have it,

straight from “Ask the Winemaker” They are softer, but we can’t call a red wine creamy, now can we? Learn more from Jo’s web site at, Email her at:

Chris Parr (at front) and fellow Rotarians enjoying a moment with the Upbeat Times at the Freedman Center in Santa Rosa, California!

Pg 32 • March 2020 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC.

There is no wealth but life. ~ John Ruskin

Jo Diaz

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