December in the vineyards
We welcome you back with another instalment of a year in the vineyards of Lanzarote, this month we have decided to head indoors and take a look at what’s happening behind closed doors in the winery during the winter months.
If you have had the chance to join us on one of our wine tours through La Geria, you will have been introduced to some of the most important stages of wine making, including the harvest and fermentation.
One of the first steps after fermentation is where the wine undergoes a process known as clarification and stabilization. This is a process undertaken to remove insoluble matter which can include grape fragments, microparticles, tartrates and yeast. All of these can affect the clarity, flavour, and chemical stability of the wine. Natural clarification will occur after fermentation, in which gravity pulls the leftover yeast particles and parts of grapes to the bottom of a storage tank to create the “lees”. Reducing the temperature will speed up this process while other methods will include adding agents such as egg whites, casein which is derived from milk, gelatine and isinglass which is obtained from fish bladder.
Victor at Bodega Vulcano explaining his filtration technique to make vegan wines without adding proteins
The next step after clarifying the wine comes racking, or Soutirage as it is sometimes referred too. This is a traditional method which involves drawing the wine from a tank or barrel using a hose to another empty one. This can be achieved using a pump or an earlier method before the use of electrical pumps would be siphoning and using gravity to transfer the wine. This helps remove the wine from the lees or sediment which is built up at the bottom of the vessel, again impacting flavour. Racking typically happens 2 to 4 times depending on the wine and takes place every 2 or 3 weeks. In Lanzarote the Diego wine which is a late ripening variety is coming to the end of this process in the early days of December.
From racking, the wines can be stored depending on if they are going to be aged in oak for instance or to be bottled as a young wine. Keep in touch and we will cover more of these topics in upcoming blogs.
wine of the month
El Grifo Malvasia Volcánica Brut 2015
Get the new year up and running with some delicious fizz!
The grapes are harvested early so the alcohol content of the base wine does not exceed 10.5%. A solution of sugar and yeast is added to the wine for secondary fermentation in the bottle, as per the traditional method. It is then aged on its lees for one year.
It’s an elegant wine in the glass with fine bubbles and a persistent crown. Intense and clean with a fantastic aroma of citrus fruit with white flowers and just a hint of toasted notes from the lees aging.
As always, this wine is available to buy in the UK and Ireland through our online store, Wine Shop Lanzarote where the stock is based in the UK!
A very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year to you all.
From the team at Wine Tours Lanzarote!
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Title: December in the vineyards
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Published Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2021 13:08:56 +0000