Winemaking 101 Winemaking is an art - a delicious masterpiece in a bottle. Ontario VQA winemakers and vintners bring their passion and dedication to every bottle they craft. Visit your favourite winery and book a tour today to see first-hand the transformation from grapes to wine. Tour starts here Harvesting/Picking When the grapes are at optimal ripeness they are picked, often by hand, in order to choose the best clusters for the wine. Sorting/Crushing Harvested grapes are then sorted to remove any leaves or damaged berries and then gently crushed to break the skins of the grapes. Fermentation The fermentation process begins when yeast is added to the naturally sweet grape juice, which chemically turns the juice into alcohol. Since red wine obtains its colour from the grape skins, the juice must remain in contact with the skins during this step. White wines are first pressed (see below) before this step begins. Pressing Red Wines: After fermentation is complete and the desired colour and flavours are achieved the wine is gently pressed to remove the skins, seeds and pulp. White Wines: Immediately after the de-stemming/ crushing step the juice is gently pressed to remove the skins, seeds and pulp.