What are tannins in red wine

Tannins - Why They Are In Wine

What are tannins and where do they come from?

Tannins are natural ingredients found in grapes, found in grape skins, seeds, stems and tree leaves. These belong to the naturally occurring so-called polyphenols. Taninnes are also known as tannins and have an influence on the shelf life, color, aging and texture of wines. In addition, tannins protect against oxidation and prevent unwanted aromas.

The tannin content in wine depends on the grape variety. This means that not every wine has the same tannin content. The tannins of the grapes occur particularly in red wines. In contrast, white wine has only a small amount of tannins. This is due to the fact that in red wine production the grapes are fermented with pips and skins, which removes the tannins as well as the color. We recommend making red and white wine if you want to learn more about it.

Rule of thumb: The more tannins a red wine contains, the “warmer” it can be drunk. In addition, the tannin content in red wines can be increased by special storage in wooden barrels, as the tannins continue to change during maturation.

Wines like Sangiovese or Cabernet Sauvignon have a high tannin content, while wines like Pinot Noir or Merlot have only weak to moderate tannin content.

Tannins are only noticeable in the taste, as they are otherwise odorless. They taste tart and bitter on the tongue.

Mash fermentation plays an important role in tannins

Mash fermentation plays a very important role in the production of red wines. The maceration of rosé wines is shorter than that of red wines. The procedure is different depending on the grape variety. The mash usually has a standing time of up to 24 hours. As soon as fermentation begins, various components, such as the tannin, are released from the skins and the conversion of sugar into alcohol begins. This process is very important for the later wine. The tannins then dissolve during fermentation. In the first few days of fermentation, it is important to turn the mash several times, as this will transfer both color and tannins from the skins to the wine.

Note: Tannins are undesirable in white wines, otherwise the wine will become bitter. For this, tannins are all the more important in red wine, as the tannin is responsible for the later taste of the red wine. Tannin is therefore an important component for the later taste of a red wine.

The quality of the Taninne can be measured by the maturity of the wine. The character of the red wine depends on many other factors, such as the tartar and the entire production process of the wine.


Positive effect of tannins

  • positive influence on taste
  • great influence on the texture of the wine, i.e. what we perceive in the mouth
  • affects the shelf life. Wines that contain a lot of tannins are very storable
  • Tannins prevent the wine from oxidizing too early


In addition, tannins have a positive impact on human health.

Medically, tannins are used, for example, to heal the mucous membranes, as the tannins remove the nutrient medium from the bacteria and thus alleviate pain and / or eliminate inflammation. Tannins also help with stomach and intestinal inflammation, as the pain is also relieved here. The tannins can also help with minor skin injuries, as they contract the blood vessels again and thus allow wounds to heal more quickly.

But note: Wine alone does not help with acute illnesses or with the healing process!


The expert advises:

“So that our St. Kathrin Silvaner has a handy tannin structure and is particularly durable, we ferment part of the grapes on the mash, i.e. with the berry skins.
The fermentation removes the tannins from the berry skins. "

- Martina Bernhard

Martina and Jörg Bernhard

Wine experts and winemakers

Martina Bernhard, our new wine expert. She has been running the "Bernhard" winery hand in hand with her father Jörg since 2015.
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