Mamoiada. A Sardinian village in the heart of the Barbagia.

The Cellars

Our winemaking philosophy

According to our philosophy, producing good wine, or rather being good in making wine first of all is based on the awareness that wine quality is to be created through a respectful treatment of the grapes, the primary “raw material” of our work and the single most important component of a good wine. Many different kinds of good wines can be made from the same variety. But for us, the distinguishing factor is the tradition. That means the passion to make wines which express what is familiar to us from our childhood and which we may call “our wine”. Even when we are applying new methods in wine production, as for example the use of barriques for the wines Carnevale and Perda Pintà, we always try to preserve the typical characteristics, the “soul” of our Cannonau.

Our new built cellars are located in the centre of Mamoiada. We have chosen for a concept that reflects our way of winemaking. With respect to the environment we have used ecologically sustainable materials such as Ytong, granite and wood. A photo-voltaic system produces the energy we need for our work. Even the architecture of the building shows a close link to our land. A sail made of stone which dominates the façade facing the street for example reminds the ancient culture of the Nuraghi. Vinification takes place in two areas of the winery: fermentation and bottling on the ground floor, maturing and refinement in the underlying cellars.

The red grapes

The vinification starts with the arrival of the grapes in our cellars, where rotten or immature grapes are sorted out by hand. The grapes are immediately transported by a conveyor belt to the crusher /destemmer which, due to its teflon-coated destem-cylinder, guarantees that grapes are destemmed without chopping grape stalks. After being gently squeezed grapes are carefully moved either to wooden fermenting vessels (with a volume of 75 hl) or to stainless steel vessels (with a volume of 125 hl), a selection that depends on the grape quality. The must of the best grapes ( from our oldest vineyards) ferments in wooden vessels since the wood contributes a more complex structure to the wine. At this stage we add a bit of metabisulfite (7 g/q), just to steer the natural fermentation process, which starts spontaneously after a few days, into the right direction. We do not heat heat the must and we do not introduce selected yeasts. The cap management, means the frequency and intensity with which the cap is plunged down or pumped over, is done automatically according to the fermentation progress. In case of our best grapes (those from our old vineyards), the maceration, until all colour components are leached from the skins, can last up to 45 days after grape harvest. We constantly check that must temperatures do not rise above 34 degrees.

Apart of this we let fermentation takes its natural course. When the maceration is over the pomace is separated from the juice and gently pressed by a pneumatic press. Thereafter wine is moved into cement basins where it rests for a while before being drawn off. After a couple of days, when lees are settled, the wine can be racked. Our barrels used for maturation are made of oak wood and are of volumes between 5 and 40 hl. The barriques we use for ageing are less in number. Normally malolactic fermentation is carried out by the wines themselves - if they are able to do so; that means that a quite high alcohol content sometimes impedes this process. Important is that malolactic conversion is done before bottling. The wine is racked when it seems necessary and with utmost care in order to avoid wine reduction (usually only few transfers are needed).
Our wines are not filtered and only few sulphites are added to guarantee the best possible tolerance (maximum value of sulphur dioxide a month after bottling: 50 mg/l). Our Cannonau Reserve refines in bottles for at least one year after having matured in large-size barrels for two years. During this period the bottles are stored into a subterranean tunnel, protected from light and temperature swings. Only three years after grape harvest it is ready to be launched.

The white grapes

Traditionally the white grape “Granazza” from Mamoiada's vineyards were used to blend the Cannonau. Due to the current D.O.C regulation, which does not allow the blending of Cannonau D.O.C with white grapes, and since we wanted to emphasize the character of these auchtochthonous grape we started to vinify it separately. The “granazza” is picked when it’s nearly overripe and when the harvest of the Cannonau grapes is already done. As there is no tradition concerning the production of white wine from these variety, we are still trying out several solutions of vinification: fermentation with and without skins. The results are interesting and surprising even if the wines displays very different characteristics. Inhibited by the alcohol our white wines normally do not carry out a malolactic fermentation.

Responsible for wine production: Francesco, 47 years, Oenologist and agricultural surveyor. External technical consultancy: Ercole Iannone, Oenologist.


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