WHEN IS HARVEST TIME?
The harvest in our winery, both manual and mechanical, always takes place in the morning so the afternoon can be occupied for must and wine processing in the cellar.
Whatever the harvesting method, it is essential to get the freshest grapes possible to the cellar to face the subsequent processing, enhancing the quality of the raw material.
At the beginning of September in our area, the temperature range between early morning and early afternoon can exceed 10 ° C so the first light of dawn is the ideal time for us to harvest. And it must take place gently and quickly, to exploit at best the nighttime thermal lowering.
Our most distant vineyards are located ten minutes from the company headquarters and we can safely say that the grapes do not even notice the transfer!
AND ONCE IN THE CELLAR? WHITE GRAPES
The grapes are unloaded from the wagon into a stainless steel hopper connected to a pump that is used to move the grapes (even without removing the stalk) into the pneumatic press. This machine (the press) acts as a colander and allows the separation of the must from the solid parts: the pomace (pulp) and the grape seeds.
The must is moved to the tanks by another pump while the marc (vinaccia), once squeezed the right way, is loaded (with the pips) on a trailer and delivered to the distillery to be processed and produce Grappa.
AND ONCE IN THE CELLAR? RED GRAPES
Also red grapes are unloaded from the wagon into the stainless steel hopper connected to the pump but this time it moves the grapes to the destemmer-crusher. This machine is used to remove the stalks and gently crush the berries, in order to break the peel and facilitate the release of the juice (the must).
This set of must-skins-grape seeds is pumped, always as gently as possible, into specific wine fermentation tanks (vinificatori) especially designed for red wine making.
CLEANING THE WHITE GRAPE MUST
Our white grape must, freshly squeezed by the press, goes quickly into the thermo-conditioned tank (connected to a refrigeration system). Before fermentation get started, it is cleaned eliminating last solid parts by blowing into it micro-bubbles of air or nitrogen (an inert gas representing 78% of the air we breathe) using a special machine called flotator.
It consists of a pump that stirs the must inside the tank. A small tube is connected to the pump which allows the chosen gas (air or nitrogen) to enter it and form very small bubbles which are homogenized in the must. The solid particles tend to cling to the micro bubbles that rise upwards and are therefore carried to the top of the must mass.
After some time, from one to two hours, we can transfer the clarified must to another tank by removing it from the bottom and only the solid particles will remain there. These can be filtered to obtain a little more must or more simply be delivered to the distillery together with the pomace.