The harvest is difficult to plan, especially when the maturation times differ from vineyard to vineyard due to the varying altitude, location, type of land and Sangiovese clones. We monitor the maturation process by taking at least weekly samples of the grapes followed by analysis of the must as well as the organoleptic analysis of the grapes themselves. We take great care in checking the phenolic composition through the phenolic ripeness. Substances such as flavonoids, anthocyans and tannins are important for the influence they have on the characteristics of the wine such as its colour, astringency and body. Knowing the evolution of the phenolic substances of the various vineyards, not only in their quantity but, more importantly, in their potential for extraction, help us to manage the potential of each vineyard in the best way even during vinification. Therefore, the harvest period takes a long time and can start at the end of September and continue on until mid-October. The harvest is done strictly by hand with cutting shears, and the grapes are placed into crates.
The process of vinification starts with soft destemming to prevent laceration of the stems and the seeds, an undesirable condition, as well as to maintain the integrity of the skins with the aim to preserve the precious original aromas and flavours during fermentation.
The grapes from each vineyard are vinified separately in steel vats with a long maceration period characterized by prolonged contact between the marc and must at a controlled temperature of between 26° to 28°C. In this way, the skin content, the tannic substances and the colour pigment anthocyan are better extracted thereby favouring the long ageing period and stability over time of Brunello.
As soon as the temperature heats up, the alcoholic fermentation begins, and we immediately start with frequent daily remontages to optimize the extraction of tannins and colour. The maceration period lasts between 20 and 30 days and, during this time, open-air délestages are performed in order to bring the right amount of oxygen to the must and, in this way, improve the extraction of tannins and colour substances obtaining crisper and more elegant fragrances and aromas. At the end of alcoholic fermentation, we proceed with the malolactic fermentation which is helped by keeping the wine at a temperature of around 20°C in temperature-controlled steel vats.
With vinification begins an extremely important phase in which all the equipment is cleaned very frequently to avoid any alteration in the product and to help guarantee the most hygienic conditions as well as to maintain consistency in the level of quality that our winery offers.
The evolution of the wine includes a series of important chemical, physical and biological phenomenon, which affect many of its integral components. Once inside our 25hl to 30hl French oak barrels, it has time to ripen and soften the tannins by slowing absorbing additional aromas and fragrances from the contact with the particular wood of the barrels. It ages and slowly changes its organoleptic characteristics and structures culminating in the peak of its greatness. Oxygen permeates into the wine in a progressively slow and ideal way through the wood and is absorbed even during the racking process, which we do every three months. In this phase, topping up the wine ensures that the level of the wine does not go down in order to avoid even the most minor contact with the outside air.
The ageing period of our Brunello di Montalcino is of three years (36 months) and, in the best years from our most prestigious vineyards, there is a Reserve Brunello di Montalcino which ages in wood barrels for a period of three and half years (42 months).
Bottle ageing of Brunello di Montalcino is four months and six for the Reserve while only three to four for Rosso di Montalcino. During this time, the wine finds a balance and develops its bouquet, which will then be released at the moment of decanting in a carafe or in a glass. The resulting product is unique and incomparable, exactly like its area of origin: Montalcino and Sangiovese.