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Bâtonnage is a winemaking technique in which the sediment (lees) lying on the bottom of a barrel or tank is stirred through the wine with a stick or a rod (French: “baton”). Stirring prevents undesirable reductive products from forming, such as hydrogen sulphide that smells of rotten eggs. Stirring also ensures that the degradation products of dead yeast cells (mannoproteins, amino acids, polysaccharides and fatty acids) come into contact with the wine, so that these compounds can bind to the acids and alcohols in the wine. Bâtonnage gives the wine more texture and complexity.


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