Cellar and Field

Production

Our aim is to produce refined, complex and balanced wines whose character derives principally from the grapes’ places of origin. Our agronomic management and wine-making process are geared towards the pursuit of these objectives.

Agronomic management

With the aim of making the most of the terroir, in the vineyard we seek to achieve a perfect balance of plant growth under a low-production regime. To achieve this, for many years now it has been forbidden to use fertilizer on mature vines, and full green/grass cover is employed along with particularly short pruning practices. With the new trellis systems we have moved to high density (more than 7,000 vines/hectare). With those varieties which allow this, we have decided to train the vines with short pruning techniques such as the fan, a method which the company considers very promising, also because it reduces the size of the grape bunches due the fact that the production arises from the basal shoots. This is done purposely to maximize the exposure to sunlight by means of an improved spatial arrangement of the leaf surfaces. Special attention is reserved for the grapes themselves which are harvested exclusively by hand which allows any individual grape that may be affected by Botrytis mould, rot or accidental bruising to be eliminated in the field. The tenderly cared-for bunches are placed sparsely in small crates in order that they arrive perfectly intact in the cellar. All of the above is a necessary preparatory phase which leads to the wine-making process which is briefly outlined below.

The wine-making process

At Borgo del Tigliowe produce mainly white wines. In order to make the most of the organoleptic character of the terroir from which the grapes originate we employ a fairly hands-off philosophy in our cellar processes. As part of this approach, we allow the sugars to fully ferment, resulting in totally dry wines. We seek for balance in the wines at all stages of the process, starting from the exact time we choose to begin the harvest, then at the must extraction stage (white wine musts are checked analytically during pressing in order to manage the extraction process), in the must assembly and finally in the assembly of the wine. Complexity is also assured by the blending of different batches which have been harvested and produced separately with aim of really bringing their original characteristics to the fore. Our white wines are fermented in small wooden barrels of around 250 litres and they remain there in contact with the lees for nine or ten months. During the successive stage of assembly, small barrels are selected which, when blended together, allow us to close in on the desired results. The surplus product is destined for a less noble category of wines, in a system of descending order whose lowest level would be wines sold unbottled in bulk quantities. This system is geared to ensuring that even in a not particularly good year, the pre-set quality standards are maintained by moving the higher-grade products down to lower categories. Our red wines complete their fermentation in small, open wooden 1,200 litre vats and undergo a post-fermentation maceration whose duration will depend on the quality of the harvest. They are then decanted into small - and in part new - wooden kegs where they undergo malolactic fermentation and remain there to refine for the necessary time (on average two years, but in some cases for longer).

Our cellars

The wine-making cellars nestle within the buildings of the ancient hamlet. In 2006, a spacious underground cellar capable of holding more than 300 wooden fermentation and refining kegs was constructed within the confines of the old yard buildings. The bottling and wine resting area is separate from the wine-making area; in fact it is located across the street but connected by a system of underground pipes to the latter. Furthermore the cellars are subdivided into four areas at different heights which allows us to move the product around by simple dint of gravity, in the absence of mechanical devices which reduces handling and minimizes losses. A particularly interesting aspect of this is to be able to press the grapes by allowing them to fall directly into the wine press itself using no means of transport and therefore obviating inadvertent breakage of the grapes; consequently bottling can also performed without the use of a constant pressure pump. The bottling plant and the wine resting areas are also equipped with temperature control systems.