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V

Variety
A word that describes the type of grapevine or the grape itself. Bordeaux wines are unique since they are a blend of several varieties, which contributes to their balance, harmony and aromatic richness.

Vegetal
Describes aromas reminiscent of hay, green peppers, or liquorice sticks that are generally produced by grapes that were harvested when they were not quite ripe enough. When these flavours are too strong, the wine is described as vegetal.

Veiled
Describes wine that is slightly cloudy.

Venison
Describes a wine's bouquet that evokes the scent of large game animals.

Véraison
A crucial growth phase in the development of the grape, which occurs when grapes change from green to yellow (white wines), or from green to black (red wines). During this phase, the grape also achieves its final size and its sugar content increases while its acidic content decreases. The harvest date is usually set for 45 days after mid-véraison. Vine cuttings In Bordeaux, after pruning, the excess vine branches are often used for barbequing. Otherwise, they are buried in between the rows of grapevines as organic fertiliser, or are ground and burned.

Vinification
All of the processes used to create wine, beginning after the grapes are harvested and ending with bottling.

Vitis vinifera
A botanical term that describes the species to which all of the varieties of European grapevine belong.

Volatile Acidity
Refers to the acetic, formic and carbonic acid content of wine. These acids are produced during alcoholic fermentation and are essential for a wine's bouquet, structure and its potential to develop. Excess volatile acidity is a fault that makes wine unsaleable.

Volume
Describes wine that gives the impression of filling the mouth.

Voluptuous
Describes wine that is both fresh and fruity. Bordeaux rosés and Clairets are good examples of this. A voluptuous wine has body and sweetness, even though it is dry. Its smoothness results from its alcohol, but mostly from its glycerol that is produced by yeast during fermentation. Bordeaux wines, more so than wines from other regions, have a natural roundness that is well balanced by acids and tannins

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