W - Jargon Buster

Weingut: (Vine-goot) Any wine producing property in Germany.

White oak: The variety of American oak that is used for barrel manufacture. The wood from all other varieties of oak is more or less porous, and cannot be used for containers to hold liquids. Many more white oak barrels are used for whiskey than for wine.

White Riesling: True name of the so-called Johannisburg Riesling or Rhine Riesling grape and its wines. Viewed at a distance in the field, there is a distinctly whitish natural cast on the fruit. Immediately recognizable, this grape looks like no other on the vine.

Wine: A natural, alcohol-containing beverage produced by the yeast fermentation of grape juice or must. Wine has a specific legal definition in all countries of the world.

Winegrowing: A winegrower tends his crop according to which farming practices will make the best quality wine. He avoids over cropping, uneven fruit ripening or the use of spray chemicals that could interfere with later fermentation. He works diligently to harvest his fruit as nearly as possible to the optimum ripeness level for the type of wine intended. He studies the latest viticultural practices and what they may mean to the quality of wine.
Most of all, he understands that a winemaker in a winery cannot improve on the quality that existed in the grapes at the time of harvest. Either quality is in the grapes or it isn't. The winemaker can only hope to avoid ruining the wine by preserving whatever quality is there. He cannot produce quality wine from poor grapes. Wine is truly grown, not made.

Winemaker: The person in charge of winemaking in a winery.

Woody: Tasting term for a wine in which the effect of prolonged (perhaps too much) contact with wood is noticeable. In general, wood tastes exactly as it smells -- same as anything else. You can tell I'm getting near the end of this Glossary.

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