THE CELLAR AND THE VINSANTAIA
In order to be certain that the grape reaches its phenolic maturity, regular tastings are essential. During the harvests, which are done exclusively by hand, a first sorting is made.
A second check on sorting tables is made in order to eliminate unripe or rotten grapes, which allows us to always have a qualitative crop. Then, the fruit is destemmed (stems and grapes are separated) and put into vats by conveyor belt, for a period of 3 or 4 weeks. The extraction is essentially made by pumping over and punching down, it involves drawing off the wine from the bottom of the vat and pumping it up on to the top, thus breaking up the cap; this is normally done twice a day. It is a good way of dissipating heat and oxygenating the juice. Punching down traditionally meant punching the cap down by hand with paddles on the end of sticks. When practiced, this is carried out between one and three times a day. It also facilitates the aromas and flavors spreading.
At the end of the fermentation, the rack and return step is required. The juice and the must are drained from the fermenting vessel leaving the cap behind. The fermenting juice is then pumped back over the cap. This is normally only used a couple of times during a ferment as it can be very extractive.
The wine is put in barrel in order to prepare the malolactic fermentation and the maturation. Twelve months of pre-bottling maturation in oak barrels for the Chianti Classico and up to eighteen months for the Chianti Classico Riserva. Each variety turns to wine separately. When it comes to the Sangiovese, which represents almost 80% of the production, the maturation is made according to each plot.
The Vinsanto and the Vinsantaia
Pressing takes place in Spring. The juice is then placed in small barrels with wood of diverse aromatic properties (oak, wild cherry and mulberry), where it undergoes multiple natural and unpredictable fermentations for over 5 years.
Over time, this nectar reaches 16° and develops a beautiful amber colour with complex aromas of dry fruits, pastries and honey.
A rare wine. No more than 400 litres are produced per year.