Chaptalization

Posted on March 8, 2017

Author: Lamar Engel

Date: 4/24/2015

The addition of sugar to grape must in order to increase the alcoholic strength of the wine. Chaptilization is named after a Frenchman named, Dr. Jean Antoine Chaptal (1756-1832), minister of agriculture under Napolean I, who wanted simultaneously to increase sugar beet acreage and to improve the quality of wines made in years when the grapes do not fully ripen. It is a common practice in Burgundy, even at the highest quality levels, but is normally limited to an increase in alcoholic strength of up to 2 degrees.  It is permitted in Bordeaux as well as Germany, Canada, New Zealand and almost all of the United States of America, however, varies in the overall quality of wines.  Chaptilization is illegal in California, Italy, and Spain.