Malolactic Fermentation

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Malolactic Fermentation (MLF) is a common process in the production of many most wines and a few white wines. During MLF, malic acid present in the wine is converted to lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria, which helps in reducing the wine’s acidity and contributes to a smoother, creamier mouthfeel.

For white wines, MLF is well-known for adding buttery, creamy nuances to Chardonnays. Two decades ago, this characteristic was greatly appreciated and became a defining trait of several renowned Californian labels. However, as preferences have shifted away from this style, a significant number of wine enthusiasts and experts have started to view white malolactic fermentation in a less favourable light, seeing it as a process that might render the wine overly heavy.