French term for the cellar aging process. It derives from the verb élever, meaning to raise, rear, or bring up, as one does a child. Élevage technically refers to the aging conditions between fermentation and bottling and excludes bottle aging before release.
An oxidative élevage is one that takes place in small barrels, unlined clay or concrete, or other porous vessel that allows more exposure to the atmosphere. This type accelerates the creation of secondary and tertiary aromas in the wine.
A reductive élevage takes place in stainless steel tank or glass. This approach preserves more of the primary fruit and secondary fermentation notes.« Back to Glossary Index