Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wine process - Part I

After to show this grafic on our Social Networks, some friends have been asking about it and that is why we want to explain you our "know how" of Rioja Wine Process. We hope you will enjoy it and please, if you have any question, ask us
Proceso de elaboración Bodegas Santalba
As you know, all the process starts in the vineyards, after the hard work done during the year around the 10th of October, the HARVEST starts in Bodegas Santalba. Depends on the year, the climate for example will be an important factor to get different quality. The Consejo Regulador from D.O.Ca. Rioja will calificate the harvest after some tests and facts as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Satisfactory and Average.

All the grapes are not from the same vine and vineyard, so they will have different features. For example, if they come from very old vineyards, like the grapes we use for our Santalba Single Vineyard ( ) they will have "special" characteristis to survive a long ageing process into the barrels and bottles. That is why not every year we have these special wines. 

Proceso tradicional del pisado de la uva In the picture above the text, you can see the grape process falling down into the machine,  where the grapes will be separated the fruit from the "green" part by the destemmer. The green part will be rejected and the grape, quite broken goes to the tanks where the grape juice in touch with the grapes will do the maceration.
After this, we send the grapes to the press. This process now is done by very modern machines but the traditional way to press the grapes were like the picture, done by people in half barrels, just walking above them. 
Now starts a very important moment in the wine process the FERMENTATION. We have two different the ALCHOLIC and the MALOLACTIC and we will explain the differences between them soon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The prune - Working hard at the vineyards

In Bodegas Santalba the pruning and the pre-pruning are done to increase the quality of the grapes and also to make longer the vines life. .It will reduce the veg part of the plant so the growth and yields will be limited to get better results and  improve the wine quality.
Pruning at the vineyard

This is a very important point to obtain quality wines, because we can not forget that all the wine process start at the vineyards, so the hard work and care that we have now with the vines will be tralate into wine quality and atributes.

The grape quantity is not related with the green part or vegetable growth of the vines. If the vines have lots of fruits they will have a small size and will be really diffcult their maturation, so again, the quality will be affected.

The prune - In the traditional way with a modern scissor

In general, the vines can grow more than 30 meter high so from the prune we get the "sarmientos" and we will use them for BBQ as wood, they are great to cook Lamb chops (very tipycal from Rioja). Only the buds located at the end of the branches where the sap is, will be the ones that will improve, the others near the trunk will not sprout.

The prune objetive is to reduce the number of branches and the length to make the vine stronger, with a longer life and improving the quality of the fruits.