VINEYARD MANAGEMENT, GRAPE HARVESTING AND WINERY PROCESSES

 

Vineyard management: In accordance with organic farming requirements, no artificial products are used, and soil fertility is enhanced by using green manure methods. No insecticides are used. For fungicides, only sulphur and copper in low application dosages are used. Vines are pruned and tied manually. The grassy turf is mown mechanically, and no chemical weedkillers are applied. Every attempt is made to reduce the transit of farm vehicles to a minimum, to avoid soil compaction.

Harvesting: Grapes are harvested by hand, and are placed in small crates. The crates are then taken to the winery without the addition of substances like dry ice or sulphur dioxide. Grapes are usually picked in the afternoon, and are left overnight beneath a lean-to roof to allow their temperature to fall naturally. The next morning they are pressed.

Destemming and pressing: White grapes are treated with a destemmer and pressing machine that first strips the grapes from their stalks and then crushes them lightly between two rollers. The must, skins and seeds are transferred to a press with horizontal plates that allow juice to flow out. The free-run juice, which has been in contact with the skins for several hours, is then transferred into traditional concrete vats for the alcoholic fermentation process. During pressing, no nitrogen or other gases are used to prevent oxidation of the must, the temperature is not controlled, and no sulphur dioxide is added.
The same procedure is followed for red grapes, but in this case the skins are macerated in the must for 10 to 20 days, depending on the grape variety and the production year.

Fermentation: Yeasts or sulphur dioxide are not added during the fermentation process. The must starts to ferment spontaneously, using only its own natural yeasts present on the grape skins and in the winery itself.
Fermentation takes place in traditional concrete vats each holding 10 hectolitres, without the temperature being controlled. The walls of these vats are 15 centimetres thick and guarantee low fermentation temperatures, eliminating the need for artificial cooling systems. When fermentation has terminated, the lees are stirred by hand, and racking operations are performed manually. These processes are carried out in the presence of oxygen, without using inert gases like nitrogen or carbon dioxide.

Maturation of wines:This is also carried out in the traditional ten-hectolitre concrete vats. The wine clears in a totally natural way by means of the spontaneous sedimentation of suspended particles under the effect of gravity. No clarification processes with albumen or casein are used.
No tartaric stabilization is carried out. This is why our wines have a natural deposit of tartrates at the bottom of the bottle, which has absolutely no effect on the taste and bouquet of the wine.

Sulphur dioxide: This substance is used only before bottling, in very low dosages. On average a quantity of 60 mg/litre of total sulphur dioxide is used. The Italian limit for conventional white wines is 200 mg/litre, while the European limit for organic wines is 150 mg/litre.

Additives: No other substances apart from sulphur dioxide are added to the wine, such as for example active carbon for winemaking, food-grade gelatines, isinglass, lactalbumin, pectolytic enzymes, sorbic acid, lactic acid bacteria, lysozyme, gum arabic and others.

Clarification: If necessary, wine is clarified only once using natural clay before being bottled. The clay is deposited by gravity at the bottom of the barrel, where it remains when the wine is racked off, without leaving any traces of clay in the wine.

Filtration: Wines are bottled after being coarsely filtered. The filtration process uses natural cellulose meshes that release no residues into the wine. Mesh pores of at least 3 microns are used, to avoid altering the structure of the wine.

Fondo San Giuseppe produces wines using only grapes from its own vineyards. It does not buy wine from other producers. The grapes used are certified as organic by the ICEA.

Since the production year of 2012, winemaking processes have also been granted organic certification, allowing the wording ORGANIC WINE to be shown on the label.