Concha y Toro

alvaro 06/08/2018

The Art Of Winemaking, part 1

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Searching for the Perfect Place

Villa Alegre Vineyard - Maule ValleyAll wine comes from a particular place, with the appropriate soil and climate for each type of vine. For example, stony and poor in nutrients soils result in an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, while cold climates are better for Pinot Noir and white varieties.

Proving that the choice was the right one will only be possible many years later, when the plant has yielded at least ten vintages and the enologist has managed to capture its full potential.

Caring for the Vine

UvaOnce planted, the vine requires a lot of care to yield the best fruits. On one hand, the vine grower must control how much grape will be produced to avoid having an overproduction of bunches and, therefore, poor concentration of aromas and flavors. To accomplish this, bunches deemed unnecessary are removed.

This way, it is ensured that the nutrients consumed by the vine are enough to feed its grapes, preventing the leaves from growing excessively, consuming nutrients that should go to the fruit.

Other important tasks are trellising of the vine -in order to ensure adequate exposure of the bunches-, and disease and pest control through environmentally friendly products.

Grape Harvest

Vendimia

In the southern hemisphere, and approximately in March, the grapes have already achieved good concentration of sugar and adequate maturity of tannins (compounds that give structure to the wine).

To determine the right time to cut, the enologist and the agriculture team of the winery measure the brix degrees or level of concentration of sugar in the fruit. Also, they taste the grapes to perceive what flavors will be carried over to the wine. This way, winemakers cut the grapes at different stages of maturation, in order to give more complexity to the new wine.

As for how to carry out the harvest, in the case of high quality wines the grapes are harvested by hand, while for varietal wines specialized machinery is used. Once harvested, the grapes are placed in plastic trays or boxes, and are carefully transported to the wine cellar.