Weekly wine defined: Chaptalization

This week’s wine term is: Chaptalization.

We know, it’s a mouth full. So what in the world does this mean, and how does it relate to wine? We’re glad you asked.

Chaptalization is a part of the winemaking process when sugar is added to unfermented grape must with the purpose of increasing a wine’s alcohol content after fermentation.

It’s named after is creator, Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal, a French chemist.

Adding the sugar to the wine isn’t done to make the wine sweeter, instead it allows for more sugar to be eaten up by the yeast during fermentation which produces more alcohol.