“From when we were little children, my partner and I had the idea of growing all of the most important Tuscan wines”. The idea became a reality. Carpineto now produces Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino, all DOCG wines and 3 of the most famous wines in the world.
“By law, DOCG wines must be produced, processed, aged and bottled within its territorial area.” Zaccheo of the Carpineto wine estates explains to us. These are some of the strict regulations that come with the dream of winemaking.
We headed over to the Dudda Wine Estates, located in a fraction of Greve in Chianti known as the heart of Chianti Classico. We met with Gabriele Ianett, an enologist who is going to give us info on what happens right after the grape harvest and how wine is born.
Gabriele explains, “Harvested grapes are brought to the canteen for a first round of cleaning – grapes are separated from their stem. The grapes are then crushed and transported in a winemaking container.”
The aromas around us are strong and vibrant – characteristic of winemaking and this gives even more life to the conversation with Gabriele. He continues, “To transform must into wine, we need to add regulated leavening agents which then multiply. This substance is dehydrated before added to the grapes that are ready to be fermented. This creates the base-point for our wine.”
The yeasts are rehydrated during the process, multiply and then water and other nutrients are added to aid the fermentation process.
“Grape must is added again which creates billions and billions of active fermented cells which are then added to the winemaking container. The fermentation process is vital in transforming sugar into alcohol, grape must into wine.”
Gabriele’s expertise shines through – he explains the process with such simplicity and our interest never falters. Seeing him and his partners in action is truly a memorable experience. A keen sense of smell and taste are key in an industry like this one. The wine must that rapidly flows into the tubs lets off intense aromas, which to a wine expert like Gabriele can already give a good indication as to the quality of the wine.
The whole process is quite labor intensive and bears a great resemblance to the work of a chef in action. This is artisanship at its finest. Even an enologist gets his hands dirty!
The wine must needs to rest before it is added to the wine tubs, so we decide to take advantage of this moment to ask Gabriele to explain to us what the characteristics are of a good wine and how this affects the quality of the brand.
He tells us, “When we talk about the quality of a wine, in general we are talking about an objective quality which is directly associated to specific “chemical” parameters. These parameters are defined by the winemaking field as a whole. For example, alcohol content, the dryness of the wine, its color etc.”
He then goes on to tell us that more subjective qualities are always taken into account as well since wine can also be a completely personal experience.
Our trip surely left us with a new way of looking at wine. We were physically immersed in the wine harvest – a process so fundamental and fascinating that words cannot do it justice. We saw breathtaking landscapes and what can be more visceral than seeing the winemaking process from the start in an internationally renowned Tuscan wine estate?
This experience, like wine, will mean more to us year after year, as we get to know our reds and whites even better.
Thanks for following us on our journey! Until next time – Let it wine!
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