International Code of Oenological Practices

Download document

Prefermentative cold maceration for making red wines

II.1.15 Prefermentative cold maceration for making red wines

Definition :

Procedure involving the cold maturation of red grapes, destemmed and/or crushed whole clusters at a temperature for a period of time adapted to the sought after objective prior to onset of fermentation.


Promote the release of skin compounds using a diffusional and enzymatic procedure in order to increase the aromatic and gustatory complexity of wine and to improve the colour characteristics.


a)        Evaluate the health condition and maturity of grapes in order to determine the interest of the technique,

b)       Manage oxidative phenomena through adapted dispositions,

c)        Prevent microbial activity through appropriate hygiene and controlled temperature, and an adapted maceration time,

d)       Determine length of maceration based on grape characteristics and sought after wine type.


Recommendation of the OIV