Wine Words Demystified: Racking

You know the deal; the more some folks learn about a topic, the more shortcuts/slang/acronyms/initials/technical jargon can be tossed around.  I’m here to help you understand those sometimes mysterious words and phrases, thus – Wine Words Demystified!  Harvest is pretty much done here in Northern California! This will be the last of my harvest focused Wine Words Demystified posts 

This week’s word is Racking..

According to Karen MacNeil‘s The Wine Bible:

A method of clarifying a wine that has SETTLED by siphoning or pumping off solids and particulate matter, such as yeast cells and bits of grape skins, and pouring it into a different clean barrel.  Racking also aerates a wine. 

Not only is the purpose of the process of racking wine to separate solids adn particulate matter such as lees from wine, it also enables clarification and aids in stabilization.

Racking Wine
Image courtesy of

A racking hose or tubing is used to remove the wine from one vessel to another. The racking process is repeated several times during the aging of wine.

Here’s a video of that shows the racking process – How To Make Wine-Step 2-Racking.

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  1. I love it that you make wine jargon easy to understand. As professionals we should continue to help others understand wine, make it approachable! I try doing the saem thing with my Wine-Phabet. Thanks!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      maurice – Thanks for stopping by and your kind comments!

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