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Vanilla

 

A vanilla-like aroma, often a result of ageing in new American oak barrels.

Varietal

 

Wine from a single, named grape variety.

Vat

 

Vessel used for fermentation and storage of wine. Vats come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and can be made from wood, concrete, or metal (nowadays usually stainless steel).

VDQS

 

French quality wine designation coming just below AC in the hierarchy. Regions are generally awarded VDQS status in the expectation that they will eventually be promoted to AC. As with AC, there are rules to define the vineyard area, permitted grape varieties and yields, etc.

Vegetal

 

A vegetable like aroma. Usually pejorative.

Velvety

 

A textured, opulent mouth feel in wine.

Vendange (Fr.)

 

Harvest.

Via (Sp.)

 

Vineyard.

Vignoble (Fr.)

 

Vineyard.

Vin de garde (Fr.)

 

Wine suitable for ageing.

Vin de Pays (Fr.)

 

Country wine. French wine category which, like AC, lays down designated areas, permitted grape varieties and yields, etc. The rules are generally more flexible than for AC and, importantly, varietal designations may be used. Vin de Pays may cover entire regions (e.g. Vin de Pays d'Oc), single French departements (e.g. Vin de Pays de l'Aude), or smaller areas.

Vin doux naturel

 

French term for sweet wines made by arresting the fermentation by the addition of alcohol (in the form of grape spirit). See 'fortified wine'.

Vinification

 

Making wine. Can be used to cover all stages from reception of grapes through to preparing the wine for bottling.

Vintage

 

Year in which the grapes used to make a wine were grown. Also used to describe the harvest period.

Viscous

 

A heavy, dense wine. See also 'legs'.

Viticulture

 

Vine growing.

Vitis vinifera

 

Species of vine from which most wine grapes are grown. In most regions, the vinifera vine is grafted onto rootstock from other Vitis species to protect against phylloxera.

Volatile acidity (VA)

 

General term for the substances in wine that are formed by the oxidation of alcohol (mainly acetic acid and ethyl acetate). All wine contains some VA but when a vinegary smell can be detected it is considered a fault. All wine will develop VA if it is left in an open bottle over a few days.

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