Vincabulary – Delastage (‘dehl-luh-STAJ’)
Delestage is a two-step “rack-and-return” process in which fermenting red wine juice is separated from the grape solids by racking and then returned to the fermenting vat to re-soak the solids. This step is then repeated daily.
Racking the fermenting juice oxygenates, or aerates, the wine and softens the astringent tannins through oxidation. It also stabilizes the wine’s color. Racking during maceration and fermentation is the underlying difference from traditional maceration-fermentation, in which the juice ferments under a layer of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas and is seldom aerated until racked at the end of fermentation (definition from winemakermag.com)