During the production of the wine, every single process regarding the transformation of the grape into wine is important.
1. Correct selection of grape varieties
At the beginning and in reference to the planting the grape varieties and the production of quality wines, it is importance to choose carefully the grape variety to work with. This should be done by examining the soil to determine the properties of the soil in which the vines will be planted. In this way, those varieties can be selected that best adapt to the soil and the local climate. All of this in order to achieve the highest quality, a unique character and the personal touch of the wine.
2. Planting the vines
After selecting the grape varieties, it is time to prepare the soil and plant the vines. It is also important to consider the arrangement, orientation of the plants, and other factors that will have a significant impact on the growth and the yield. These vines produce very few grapes in the first year, but it is important to shape the vine during this time. In the second year, the yield is a bit higher, although it must be said that the quality of the grapes is not yet optimal; In this second year we also finish the shaping tasks. In the third year the vines are already producing quality grapes and you can see in which direction the development of the grapes, up to complete production with the highest quality, is going.
3. Examination of the grapes and harvest
After all work in the field has been completed, it will be time for the grape harvest in August / September. With the aim of producing a high quality wine, it is important to do the grape harvest at the right time. For this reason, the degree of ripeness of the grapes must be checked at regular intervals. For this we use a refractometer, which shows us, based on the measured sugar content in the grape, the alcohol content that will be achieved after the fermentation.
So at the right time, the grape harvest begins. At Blanca Terra, the grape harvest takes place manually to select only the best grapes and remove the bad ones. In addition, we start our work in the early morning hours to avoid that the grapes warm up and also undesired fermentation. The grapes are then brought to the winery, where the winemaking process begins.
4. Wine making process
First, the fruits are removed from the stem with the help of the destemmer. This process takes place in the production of white wines as well as for rosé and red wines. A separate production process then begins for each type of wine.
Production of white and rosé wines.
During the production of rosé and white wines at Blanca Terra, after the destemming process the grapes come into a cooling unit in which a temperature between 5º and 10ºC is guaranteed. Afterwards the are delivered to the press. We use a wine press where inert gas is added to prevent the grapes from coming into contact with oxygen and thus avoiding oxidation.
The pressing of the grapes and the extraction of the must goes through different cycles that last around two hours. In reference to the rosé wine and in order to retain its color, we at Blanca Terra carry out a whole bunch pressing, in which the skins remain in contact with the must, in order to achieve a light rosé with a pale strawberry tone.
When this process has been completed, the must is transferred to the temperature-protected tanks with a temperature of 10ºC. This is also where the clarification of the must and the fining of the wine begin. The must rests at low temperature until the insoluble cloudiness and other suspended particles sink to the bottom of the tank and can be removed.
Afterwards, the fermentation of the fine yeast begins, i.e. the suspended parts of the yeast that have not sunk, and the transformation of the sugar contained in the must into alcohol. This is the moment when the must turns into wine.
Production of red wines
In the production of red wines, the grapes are destemmed and placed in special tanks in which the mashing takes place. Our winery has tanks with pneumatically driven pistons that support the so-called “pigeage” process. Here, the skins and seeds of the grapes are pressed down and mixed with the must to form a homogeneous mass. The must turns reddish in color and the aromas and the desired taste emerge.
After a week of cold mashing, the fermentation process begins.
The moment the peel and grape seeds stop contributing and the must has turned into wine, the tank is emptied. The resulting liquid is poured into another tank and the mash is pressed to gurantee that no drop of wine gets lost.
In red wines, after the alcoholic fermentation, the malolactic fermentation takes place, during which the malolactic acid is transformed into lactic acid and the acidity of the wine is reduced.
After the fermentation process, the wines can continue to mature. This takes place mainly with red wines, but can also be carried out with white wines and rosé wines.
The maturation takes place mainly in oak barrels, but there are also other materials, such as amphorae, natural cement, etc.
When the maturation or “crianza” is complete, the wine continues to be clarified. All the suspended particles are drawn to the bottom of the tank. In a second step, the wine is filtered so that it can be bottled, brilliant and clear.