Going to the store, buying a bottle of wine, popping it and serving it in glasses, then enjoying its delicious taste and relaxing effects; this seem like a simple thing to do, but is it really? Well, actually, when you taste a great wine like Melis Priorat, it has already passed through at least eight phases. Do you know them all? Keep on reading to find out what some of these phases are and the important role they play in the elaboration of good quality wine.
It is not easy to plant a vineyard. Starting from the soil, not all of them are suitable for this the type of plant required to make great wine. If the soil is very dark, it would produce a large quantity of grapes but of low quality. On the other hand, if the ground is very cold or exposed to low temperatures, it would produce green grapes. The spear vine is characterized by its deep roots so the ground must be up to one meter deep. Additionally, the land must be free of holes that could freeze or dry the vines.
Traditionally 2,000 and a maximum of 4,000 vines per hectare are planted and the transplanting of the vines takes place between the months of December and May, in which the climate favors the easy growth of the vines.
Depending on the climate and soil conditions, the first grapes are obtained 18 months after planting, however you should wait a while until the fruits are fully ripe. The harvest period varies between February and April (in the southern hemisphere) and July and October (in the northern hemisphere). Therefore, the harvest time varies depending on the harvest times of each region.
There are two harvesting methods: the manual one is used for the production of high quality wine such as Melis Priorat and sparkling wine, for which it is necessary to be more selective when choosing the grapes that will be used. The mechanic method requires little manual labor and is much cheaper than harvesting by hand. In order to carry out this type of harvest, the crop must be trellised.
Pressing is a fundamental operation in vinification since the quality of the future wine depends on it. Pressing refers to the separation of the juice. The direct pressing of the cluster is not useful in the case of red grapes since the woody remains from the cluster must be removed, but the skin must be kept with the liquid throughout the process until fermentation.
If we go back in the past, the first pressing method was with feet, in other words, stepping on the grapes. This method is still used in wineries that produce small quantities. The vertical press is another of the most traditionally used presses. The grapes are poured into a wooden or stainless steel cylindrical cage where pressure is exerted by means of a lid, normally anchored to a hydraulic screw. Horizontal rotary presses are the most common today, in which the progressive pressure increases and the time of the pressing cycles can be precisely adjusted.
The three steps described above are the beginning of obtaining the elegant drink that cheers hearts, wine. In the second part of this blog series, you’ll find the remaining steps in producing high quality wine. If you want to just skip this process and go straight to tasting delicious artisan wines, visit our online store. Melis Cellars offers wines with finesse and complexity, without detracting from the character and strength that characterize the wines of the Priorat region. Learn more about Priorat Wine here.