After talking about grapes in general, let's move on to the important topic of harvesting: how does the harvest of your red grapes take place? Do you use machinery, or do you opt for the manual method?
Just as for white grapes, the harvesting of red grapes here at Tenute d’Italia is also strictly manual. It is true that mechanized harvesting allows operations to be carried out faster, limiting the risks of delay in the event of sudden bad weather and thus respecting the perfect moment of fruit ripening in a more precise way, but in our opinion, manual harvesting remains absolutely the best choice. Thanks to the experience of our team of harvesters we are in fact able to make an important selection at the time of harvest, bringing to the cellars – thus starting the vinification - only the best grapes, perfectly ripened and without defect.
And after that?
As soon as the grapes are harvested, they are loaded onto special wagons and transported to the winery, where they begin the vinification process.
So far, the procedure is exactly the same as that followed for white grapes. At what point do the two processing techniques differ?
First of all, in our specific case, while it is possible to use the terms "procedure used for white (or red) grapes" and "white (or red) vinification" as perfect synonyms, we must remember that this equation doesn’t always hold true, since the two winemaking techniques can be applied to any type of grape, regardless of colour.
Having established this necessary premise, the crossroads that distinguish the two procedures is met precisely when the grapes arrive at the winery. The white grapes, as you will remember, are placed in the press, while a different tool is used for the black grapes, the so-called crusher-destemmer. This machinery separates the stalks - therefore the green part of the bunch - from the berries, which are then pressed to release the must.
So the press is not used in red wine making?
Yes, it is used, but only at a later stage. After passing through the crusher-de-stemmer, all the product obtained - composed then of must and marc - is transferred to special tanks in which maceration and alcoholic fermentation take place.