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Tasting glossary

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Drawing off
'Svinatura' is the term that describes the process of separating the juicy solid parts of the grape from the liquid part of the must. Red Grapes: The liquid part in the fermentation tank or fermenter, depending on the method of vinification the winemaker has pursued, is poured off into another tank where it will begin full fermentation. This must is called 'il fiore, 'the flower'.

What remains in the tank
The soaked skins and pips and other solid matter, is passed into the press where the remaining must will be extracted. This 'vino di torchio' 'pressed wine' will make up 15% of all the wine obtained from the grapes.

White grapes
unless for special reasons never undergo maceration. Following destalking and pigiatura, they pass straight to the press. Pressing of white grapes is limited to freeing the sweet juice found in the pulp, avoiding the extraction of any juices from the seeds and skin.

Essentially the grapes are loaded inside a conical drum, and a huge inflatable diaphragm fills with air and gently presses the soaked pomace, releasing the juice. The press is fully programmable and guarantees automated control over the intensity of the press-cycles.

What remains in the press
The pomace, the skin and seeds that are left in the press, are sent to the state owned distilleries where it will be transformed into alcohol.

Il torchio
Il torchio is the traditional press. It is a slow, but reliable method used by the home wine maker, and small wine producers. The press is loaded with the solid parts and manually operated.


Photo: The traditional press

The pressing cycles
The soaked pomace is subject to the first pressings. These press cycles make up 10% of the total wine. This must differs little from the 'the flower' though it is usually richer in aroma and noble tannins. This must, placed in another fermentation tank, makes an excellent wine as well as a good wine for cutting and mixing with the 'flower' wine. The third and fourth pressings extract all the juice present in the skins and pips. This wine is astringent, stalky and is usually eliminated. It makes up the resulting 5% of wine.

See also in vinification: Transportation- Destalking and Crushing - Remounting and Maceration






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