Novello time is coming….And all of us are waiting on 6th of November the releasing of the new vintage. Which of you didn’t attend a San Martino party at least a few times….if not always 😊
But do you know all there is behind it…. It all starts with the “Carbonic maceration” which is a different method of making red wine. It involves placing entire bunches of uncrushed grapes, together with their stems, in vats that have been filled with carbonic dioxide in it’s aim to produce the lighter wines in tannin, fruitier and deeply coloured as we know them.
The grape cells burn glucose with oxygen to release carbon dioxide, water and energy. Due to the lack of oxygen the grapes cells are forced to get the energy they need by converting the glucose into alcohol, carbon dioxide and energy. No yeast is involved in this process. The grapes burst and as they reach this stage they are pressed and the juice is separated from the skins. Yeast then complete the fermentation.
This process extracts colour, but not tannin, and the resulting are soft and full of fruit, fragrant, vinous, with distinctive notes of red fruit, banana, bubblegum, and cinnamon. They generally don’t age well.
There are many different variations to this process.
In France instead of filling the vat with dioxide of carbon the winemaker may use dioxide of carbon created by fermenting juice released by berries at the bottom of the tank that have been crushed under the weight of the berries above them. This semi carbonic maceration is common in Beaujolais.
In Spain for some reds the bunches are destemmed but not crushed before fermentation. The result is that an element of carbonic maceration occurs at the same time as the fermentation. This is traditional in Rioja.