What do you know about the wine workflow?
Cirò is an ancient medieval village on the Jonian coast, where the winemaking is history, art and archaeology. As a proof of this, we adopted for its labels ancient worship names. For instance, Alaei DOP Ciró White has been created in honour of God Apollo Alaei or Alikia IGP Calabria White that is the ancient name of the promontory of Puntalice.
The Senatori Wines vineyards are cultivated in compliance with the most attentive husbandry techniques, in continuous connection with the scientific advice of the most qualified academic centres, in harmony, in balance and with a strict respect for the environment.
The grape harvest represents for us the point of arrival and at the same time the starting point. The harvest done by hand, represents the point of arrival, the natural conclusion of the vine biological cycle. Man, Climate and Nature have finished their role!
Wine-making is the origin which will give life to our great wines!
A key element of their quality with very low yield per vine both for native grape varieties and international varieties.
Depending on whether the grapes are white or red, the winemaking process comprises two different routes. The white grapes follow what we name the “cold” method , the red grapes follow the “traditional” method.
1 - The "cold" method
Grapes in this case, Greco white, Chardonnay, Incrocio Manzoni, Sauvignon blanc, Traminer aromatic or Gaglioppo, for the production of rosé, are left to rest to cold, in the wine cellar. The day after, after having properly purified and sterilized the necessary equipments.
The grapes are disposed on a carpet for selection, where two responsible will discard some grapes which are no suitable, escaped from the field selection.
These are introduced then in the stemmer-crashed that provides to separate stems from the grapes and later pass to the soft grape crushing. At this point the grape crushed and the juice released by the crushing process will be pushed into an heat exchanger named tube in tube. Such process allows to reduce the temperatures and to preserve the aromas. When this process is complete, the white grapes continue its route to the press that provides the soft grape crushing, letting pass only the young must, that is the kind of must which allows to obtain the primary and varietal aromas.
2 – Flotation phase
Having completed the pressing, the must is collected in the tanks and cleaned trough flotation.
This is a physical and not chemical operation, that consist of the add of nitrogen to the must ( inert gas colourless and odourless) in some extent mixed with it. This operation ensures that all the impurities are brought to the surface and later eliminated.
3 – Fermentation phase
Completed this phase of must cleaning, it starts the fermentation phase.
The clear and clean must is transferred into a new tank and selected yeast are added to it. Also in this phase the temperature is fundamental, cause it is kept stable and continuously monitored.
Fermentation is an extremely delicate operation.
The sugar contained naturally in the must thanks to the selected yeasts is transformed in alcohol, but much more important is that fermentation allows to obtain the secondary aromas, higher alcohols derived from fermentation.
After the period of fermentation has expired, the must, now almost wine, is left to rest in storage tanks.
4 – Traditional method
Red grapes, on the contrary , follow the traditional method: after the harvest grapes are left to rest in the cold for one night, like is done for white grapes. The day after they are destemmed and crushed.
At this point occurs the true distinction between the two types of wine-making. The destemmed grape and the must are not directly pressed, but they pass to fermentation. In this case the fermentation- maturation always with selected yeasts, occurs together with the grape skins left in contact with the juice, because in the skins are contained some molecules (polyphenols, phenonols, anthocyanins) which give the wine its colour.
5 – Maceration and extraction phase
During the maceration phase a lot of operations are realized, such as the refitting, follatura and delestage that ensure an efficient extraction of the colouring material and the elimination of excess grape seeds, responsible of an excessive tannicity.
When the maceration/ fermentation , that can last from 5 to 15 days depending on the goals we would achieve, is ended , everything is send to the press which makes a soft extraction, even in this case, of the must flower.
The red wine, at this point, has left to rest like occurs with the white wine, for a long or short period of time.
6 - Ageing & Refinement phase
We pass, at this point, to the refinement phase of Wine, when we have the release of tertiary aromas due to the aging of wine: for white wine and for Rosé, as they are wine that must be consumed young and fresh, this period lasts only few months, at the most two or three, for red important wines, this phase can also last many years. Our Firm opts for different types of refinement according to the various typologies of wine to be offered to the final consumer, more and more careful and demanding.
Both for white wines, rosé and red wines is carried out the refinement in steel, on fine lees. Red wines, on the contrary, in addition to the refinement in steel on fine lees, can follows also a refinement in wood. This is the case of the Nerello, Ethos, Arcano Riserva, Cassiodoro Senator, Unico Senator that follows a refinement in wood, in our case Barrique and Tonneaux in French oak that lasts from 12 to 30 months.
7 – Stabilization phase
We carry on with the wine stabilization. Also this, is a very important phase because allow to stabilize wine from the tartaric point of view but also from a biological point of view. The first one, also in this case, has realized through a physical and not chemical process.
Wine, like any other drink deriving from fruit, contains the tartaric acid dissolved in it that is an total natural acid that does not damage the human health but that just for an aesthetical question should be eliminated. For the elimination we proceed by bringing the wine to a temperature near to 0°(the tartaric acid crystallizes and then precipitates to the tank bottom, and be then eliminated). The second stabilization, the biological one, is conducted only a short time prior to bottling, where the wine passes through filters that makes it sterile.
8 – Bottling phase
The last phase is represented by the bottling.
Wine, now ready, is bottled. It is an almost completely automated operation. The empty bottles, clean and sterile are placed on conveyor chain, and are internally washed and sterilised one more, time, filled and capped. The bottles enter inside the bottle drying tunnel where these are dried externally and then encapsulated and labelled. Finally, trough two adepts bottles are stifled and palletised.
Here we go? Not yet… just another pinch of patience!
9 – Aging of wine in bottles phase
Before being commercialized, the product is aged in bottle. This last phase is called aging in bottle.
Even this, for whites and rosé wines lasts for the maximum of 20/30 days while for the important red wines lasts also 12/15 months. The aging in bottle lets the wine mature, and evolves its flavourings.
At this point, there is nothing left but to say: Prosit!