As we have already named the Pignoletto, we could start right away with the theme of white vinification! What are the other grapes which you use this technique for?
Having read the previous article, I immediately want to clarify that in Tenute d’Italia we apply the equation: white grapes/white vinification and red grapes/red vinification. We are evaluating the possibility of testing the maceration technique for the Albana, but for now it’s only a project.
As for white grapes, there are three types in our vineyards: the Pignoletto, the Trebbiano and the Albana. Let's say that they are perhaps the three most typical varieties of our territory, capable of giving wines of great quality but also of great character.
With regard to the Pignoletto, you mentioned a harvesting that is earlier than normal. Usually, what period are we talking about?
Pignoletto is usually the first variety to be harvested, not only for our production needs but also for the specific characteristics of the plant. In fact, there are varieties that ripen earlier, and others that need more time to mature. Let's say that the harvest of the Pignoletto can begin as early as the last weeks of August, followed closely by the Albana. Trebbiano is the last white variety we gather.
Obviously, this is a rough outline: each harvest is a unique and unrepeatable adventure, marked mainly by the climatic trend of the entire vintage. In addition, another detail not to be overlooked, the timing of the collection must also take into account the position of the vineyards: the fruit ripening process varies significantly depending on exposure, altitude and the type of soil on which the plants are born, so we always need to take into consideration the differences between the lowland vineyards and hills.
How does the harvest take place? Do you use specific machinery for the grape harvest?
No. At Tenute d'Italia we only carry out manual harvesting: it is certainly less rapid than the mechanical method, but it allows us to make a better selection of the fruits, discarding the bunches that are not perfectly ripe or that have imperfections and, above all, it is much less invasive, less traumatic for the grapes. The bunches are placed in small crates and then loaded onto a cart, on which they are transported to the cellars, where the real wine-making process begins.