After growing the vineyard and selecting the grapes, we are now in the cellar, where all our efforts will be rewarded, by turning the grapes into precious nectar.
First, we destem grapes, to avoid unpleasant aromas in the wine. The stems contain large amounts of tannin, cellulose and resins, which may give the wine a bitter or astringent flavour. Now we are ready for the pressing. Nowadays besides your feet, there are more convenient and hygienic presses available, which help separate the skin from the juice. The cost of this device ranges from 200 to 1,000 Euros, for the more complex and reliable models.
We have three types of winemaking processes. For red wines, the must fermentation is carried out in steel, wood, fiberglass or concrete tanks, in a temperature-controlled room. The pressed grapes, the pomace, is then soaked in the must for a period ranging from 6 to 30 days, depending on the type of wine (Novello, for example, just needs a few days). Here the yeasts are formed and are required for must fermentation and its subsequent evolution into wine. The process occurs by converting sugars into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. It is important that the room temperature is kept between 25 and 28 degrees.
White wines, instead, need a pure fermentation, which entails only the must without the addition of the pomace, the solid parts. To the must the yeasts will be added at a room temperature kept between 18 degrees and 22 degrees maximum. The wines thus obtained are to be drunk young, even the following year. For stronger flavour wines, during a process called crio-maceration, the grape musts (freshly pressed grapes still containing solids – pulp, skins, stems, and seeds) are cooled at a temperature of 5 degrees for 24 hours. The time and the temperature at which this process takes place greatly determine the characteristics of the finished product. For Rosè wines, the must have to be in contact with the skins for no more than 36 hours; this to reduce the amount of tannins and give the wine a pinkish tinge.