FROM VINEYARDS TO BOTTLE

Production process

Winemaking is a millennial process that over the years has reached a degree of complexity that gives it high quality standards.

Times change, materials change, the way of making it changes and although the process has been modernized, the essence has remained the same since ancient times, the fermentation of grape juice.

PRODUCTION

AGING

BOTTLING

Production

The grape harvest takes place in October. Grapes are harvested in the fields and they are transported by viticulturist, who unloads them into the stainless steel hopper.

The harvest is the grape harvest that takes place in the Ribera del Duero in September, and may be advanced or delayed depending on the degree of ripeness of the grape.

The exact time of collection will be the one in which the grape shows an ideal state of maturation, since only in this way can a high-quality wine be extracted from it. Depending on the level of maturation, the grape will have a certain level of sugar, and depending on this level, the wine will present a certain level of alcohol.

Once the best bunches are selected, processing begins.

The de-stemming is the process in which the grapes are separated from the rest of the bunch or rasp. This process, which used to be done by hand, is now mechanized and aims to eliminate the leaves and branches of the bunch, which give the wine a bitter taste during maceration.

At the present time, an ancient but disused process is being recovered, carbonic maceration, which consists in allowing the whole bunches to macerate, without stripping and without pressing, to obtain fresh and fruity young wines.

Once the de-stemming has been carried out, the grape is crushed or pressed to break the skin of the grape or skin and obtain the must.

Traditionally, the grapes were trodden in a winery to extract as much must as possible. Over time, the grapes were manually pressed first and mechanically thereafter. In the crushing process, the grapes are pressed without breaking the seeds, since these could give the must a bitter taste.

The must is macerated in contact with the skin so that the wine acquires its color and properties. This maceration process causes the natural yeasts present in the grape skin to begin an alcoholic fermentation process, transforming the sugars in the must into alcohol. This process lasts between 10 and 14 days and is carried out at a temperature not higher than 29º.

During the maceration process, carbon dioxide creates a bubbling and the skin rises to the surface, creating what is known as a hat. To keep the skin in contact with the must, pumping is carried out, extracting the must at the bottom and depositing it again on the skin.

Once the whole process has finished, the wine is uncovered, which is the transfer of the clean wine to another tank.

Once the wine has been uncovered and the skin has been pressed to extract the remains, the wine undergoes a new process, malolactic fermentation.

In this process, malic acid, one of the 3 acids present in wine together with tartaric and citric acids, is converted into lactic acid, thereby reducing the acid character of the wine and making it more pleasant to drink. This process lasts between 15 and 21 days.

Rosé wine, contrary to the popular belief that it is a mixture of red and white wine, is a wine with its own identity. Its elaboration is made with red grapes, and follows the same process as red wine. The fundamental difference lies in the time that the must is allowed to be in contact with the skin. In the case of rosé wine this time is much shorter, hence the change in hue and flavor.

Aging

One of the most important points in the elaboration of a red wine from Ribera del Duero is the aging or aging process.

In this process, the wine is introduced into American or French oak wooden barrels, selecting one wood or another depending on its hardness, permeability and porosity. The barrels have been roasted, the inside of the barrel has been treated with fire and both the degree of roasting and the age and the number of times the barrels have been used will modify the character of the wine.

In the barrel aging it is when the wine acquires aromatic notes that during the tasting we can identify as toasted, smoked, vanilla and woody notes and due to the porosity of the wood, the micro-oxygenation of the wine is allowed.

The aging process according to the regulations of the Regulatory Council of the Denomination of Origin is divided into two categories, aging and reserve.

Bottling

San Andrés Winery sells its wines with the registered trade mark VEGAZAR.

In order to be sold as Vegazar wine, the clean and filtered wine is decanted to an isotherm tank, where it is cooled to achieve the crystallisation of dissolved salts. After some days, it is filtered to obtain the final distillation and then bottled.

The bottling is completed with the winery brand label and the corresponding Control Board Ribera del Duero back label, which certifies this wine quality.