Production of red wine
Red wine production differs from white wine production in that we also include skins and seeds in the production process to ensure good color and taste of the finished wine. The grape juice itself is colorless also in the red wine grapes, so the skins are crucial both to get theright color and taste of the wine .
After the grapes have been picked, the first step is to empty the boxes into the grape crusher. This machine first removes the stems from the grapes. The stems are collected and used for soil improvement in the vineyard. Then the grapes continue further down into the maschine where they are crushed. Then the mixture of grape juice, skins and seeds is pumped into the fermentation tank. When all the grapes are crushed and in the tank, we start to build up approx. 150 l with fermenting must. When this ferments fully, we empty it into the tank and the fermentation starts.
The fermentation takes approx. 10-14 days. At the same time, we carry out what is called maceration. This means that every morning and evening we pump must from the bottom of the tank and out into a hose. With this we flush the skins that float on top of the must. This helps to ensure good contact between the must and the skins so that we can extract color and taste from these. How long we do this depends on how thick/ trong the grape skins are. This varies from year to year depending on the weather.
Removal of skins after naceration
When the fermentation is complete and the wine has obtained the color and taste we want, the time has come to separate the wine from skin remains and seeds (svinatura). This is a big and heavy job, in a tank with approx. 4,000 l of must we end up with approx. 1,300 kg of skin remains and seeds. These are dug/pumped out of the tank after the wine has been pumped away. We get it into the press to get out the remnants of good wine that is still mixed with the skins. Skin remains and seeds are then taken out of the press and stored in plastic containers. These are transported to a distillery for the production of grappa.
The wine is moved into the oak barrels
The wine is now allowed to settle in the tank for a week or two before we carry out a moving of the wine to a new tank to get rid of sediment (feccia). The sediment is also delivered to grappa production. Now the wine is left still in the tank while we cross our fingers that the malolactic fermentation starts. This is a process where malic acids are broken down and converted to lactic acids, which gives the wine a softer and rounder taste. When this process is complete, the wine must be stabilized and allowed to develop until it is bottled.
Some of our red wine is stored in oak barrels. This applies to our Nizza “Squarza”, Nizza Riserva “Le Tre Barrique” and Nebbiolo “Nobile”. After the malolactic fermentation is complete, “Squarza” and “Nobile” are moved into 500 liter French oak barrels (tonnaux) where they are stored for approx. 12 months. Our noblest wine “Le Tre Barrique” is stored in small oak barrels of 225 liters (barriques) for at least two years. After the aging in oak barrels is finished, the wine is pumped back to the steel tank to be prepared for bottling.
The wine can now be checked by Valoritalia, and when the approval is ready, the wine must be filtered, bottled, labeled and packaged. We do all bottling, corking and labeling as well as packing in cardboard boxes here at Cascina Collina. The wine is now ready for sale, but our barrel-aged wines are usually stored for a few months before being released to the market.