[Our] Red Vinification: Maceration

30 November 2020

Ivan, can you explain to us what maceration consists of and why it is so important in the context of red vinification?

Let's say that in the maceration process lies the true sense of red wine production! In fact, it consists in letting the marc (the skins of the grapes) remain in contact with the must (the juice extracted from the berries) so as to allow the extraction, then the transfer from the first to the second, of the aromatic substances and especially the colourants. In other words, this procedure causes the must - therefore the wine - to absorb the colour and become… red!

What are these colourants you talk about?

They are called anthocyanins: they are the chemical compounds naturally present in the skin of red and purple fruit, and therefore not only of grapes. Without going into too much technical detail, let's say that there are different types - that result in different shades of red - and they are present in different concentrations depending on the variety.

These two variables, obviously also conditioned by cultivation techniques, the harvest time and the specific pedo-climatic conditions of each plot, determine the possibility of obtaining a greater or lesser coloration of our must.

Could you give us an example?

The two native varieties that we mentioned at the beginning, the Ancellotta and the Malbo Gentile, are both characterized by a great colouring power, which makes them excellent blending grapes: in addition to the very pleasant aromatic complement, they are in fact able to perfect the appearance of the wine, giving wonderful violet hues to the blends in which they are placed.

It is no coincidence that both are often used as a complement to Sangiovese, a variety which, on the contrary, produce wines with a decidedly less purple and intense colour.

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