The period of ageing is a crucial step in wine production. This stage of rest or maturation in the winery can have a major influence on the organoleptic profile of the future bottled wine, on its structure, its texture, its aromas and, also potentially on its shelf life and on its ageing potential. If the length of ageing and the container are important decisions, the choice to go for extended ageing on lees will also have numerous consequences. Autolysis, the autolytic character – what do these fancy words mean? What happens when autolysis occurs and what influence does the autolytic reaction actually have on the wine?   Wine is the by-product of the fermentation of grape sugars, i.e. it is fermented grapes under the…