by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies
Fining is a process that goes on in the final stages of the winemaking process, typically when the wine is in barrel. Fining is used to remove unwanted sediment from the final wine. A substance is added to the wine which pulls the heavier materials together so that they congeal and can be removed from the wine in another process called racking. Most commonly egg whites or bentonite (a powdered clay substance) are used in the fining process. Fining can reduce tannin astrigency and yield a more clear wine but it is not always needed. Some wines are totally unfined, it is a choice that the winemaker makes.