A winemaker's term for the period of time that the wine or juice spends soaking in its grape skins. It's during skin contact—which can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days—that the wine absorbs the skin's pigments, tannins, and concentrated flavors and aromas. For red wines, skin contact is the time during which the wine soaks in its skins after it has already fermented. For white wines (which aren't fermented in their skins), it is the period of time during which the grape juice soaks in its skins before it is fermented. See also maceration.