Vinification

From grape to wine

The term vinification indicates the entire process of biochemical transformation that allows transformation from grape to wine. There are different techniques of vinification, with or without skins. Depending on the type of wine being produced, the operations may include blending, alcoholic fermentation, racking, malolactic fermentation, centrifugation and filtration. Red wine is made from the must (pulp) of red or black grapes that undergo fermentation together with the grape skins. White wine is made by fermenting juice which is made by pressing crushed grapes to extract a juice; the skins are removed and play no further role. Occasionally white wine is made from red grapes, this is done by extracting their juice with minimal contact with the grapes' skins. Rosé wines are either made from red grapes where the juice is allowed to stay in contact with the dark skins long enough to pick up a pinkish color (blanc de noir) or by blending red wine and white wine. White and rosé wines extract little of the tannins contained in the skins. All these techniques are defined as physical and allow us to avoid the use of additional chemical substances to achieve the right intensity of colour in white wines. The regulations on the production of organic wines only permit physical clarification with sulphur. 

Clarification aids the hyper oxygenation of white wines, an essential procedure for guaranteeing their stability.At this stage the must is ready for alcoholic fermentation: a crucial moment in the transformation process of must to wine. The temperature reached for the vinification is between 18°C and 22°C for white wines and between 25°C and 28°C for red wines. 

In the Vinification of white wines after fermentation comes racking. This procedure eliminates the so-called “lees”, separating them from the wine to make it clear. In vinification of red wines, before racking, pumping-over and punching-down must be carried out on the must. These two techniques prevent the fruit debris (that is not separated from the must in vinification on the skins) from depositing on the surface, which would prevent oxygenation of the must. Pumping-over is carried out using a valve located in the lower part of the vat. The valve, once activated, propels the must upwards. Punching-down is done using a mechanical piston. The piston pushes the debris towards the bottom of the vat. When used together, these two techniques allow the must to be mixed with the debris to stop it depositing on the surface. Vinification on the skins (for red wines) combines racking with pressing of the debris.

CLARIFICATION, FILTRATION, STABILISATION, BLENDING, FLAVOURING, SPARKLING WINE METHOD: 

the process via which the wine achieves its final characteristics. In particular, clarification and filtration allow adequate conditions of stability to be successfully obtained; allowing us to prevent the product from deteriorating once packaged. Blending is the phase that foresees the mixing of various batches or types of product, to obtain a base cuvee, which then undergoes operations of stabilisation, clarification, re-fermentation etc. Flavouring allows us to obtain flavoured wine-based drinks by adding natural aromatic extracts and concentrated fruit juices. The sparkling wine method is an operation that consist of adding sugary substances to the wine, via sucrose or MCR, and with the addition of selected yeasts and fermentation starters within specially designed pressurised vats. Fermentation is induced and has the effect of dispersing the carbon dioxide that forms through the wine, thus obtaining enough pressure to form the mousse.