Wine-making Terminology

Don’t be put off by some of the terms used in Wine-making. Here’s a list of what you’ll be saying within a few short months:


The liquid you create (by pressing or mashing fruit/vegetables) before you add yeast to ferment it into wine. I use both interchangeably due to inherent laziness.


The sediment at the bottom of either your fermentation bucket or demijohn, made up of dead yeast & bits of fruit. Discard the Lees/Dregs from your bucket, or the first racking. However, later Lees/Dregs can be combined & sometimes make an excellent wine. And imagine the look on a friends face when they takes a sip, say ‘That’s nice! What is it?’ and you reply ‘The Dregs’…

Rack Off/ Racking

To rack off is to remove a wine from the sediment by using a siphon tube. Or a seemingly innocuous insult used in Australian suburbs around the 1980s. If I talk about the ‘3rd racking‘, I am talking about the 3rd time the wine has been siphoned into another demijohn to leave the Lees/Dregs behind.


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