Our recipe for making wine was jotted down on a small piece of paper by the man in the shop selling the wine equipment.
The wine is started in four plastic vats, each holding about 150 litres. Because of the possibility of the wine overflowing when it starts to ferment, we decided to use a fourth one. The grapes are first destemmed and crushed by machine and then transferred over into the vats.For each 100ml,1 tablet of Potassium metasulphate is crushed and added to the liquid.
MACERATING THE GRAPES – MACERANDO LAS UVAS
The vats are then left for 7-10 days and and are mixed three times a day using a wooden pole nailed to a square piece of wood with holes drilled in it so as to thoroughly submerge the grapes that float to the top. This process is know as “punching down the cap”.
MACERATION is the process by which the tannins, colouring agents (or anthocyanins) and flavours of the grape are broken down from the grape skins, seeds and stems into the grape juice or must. Maceration occurs during the first stage of wine-making but also continues throughout the second stage of fermentation.
FERMENTING THE GRAPES – FERMENTANDO LAS UVAS
During the first fermentation, the grape juice is then pressed in a grape press and returned to clean, plastic vats. The vats are left for 30 days.
During FERMENTATION, carbon dioxide is released when the sugar in the must is converted into alcohol. The process of maceration continues during this stage.
After 30 days, the liquid is transferred to a stainless steel “always full” vat and left for a further 60 days. The idea of the “always full” vat is that has a lid surrounded by an inflatable tube which adjusts to the diameter of the vat. Whenever liquid is removed from the vat, the lid is then lowered and the tube prevents any air from entering.
The secondary fermentation or ageing process is slower and can take any time from three to six months.