cellar

  • Arrival of the Grapes

    All our grapes are hand-picked , each one is checked thoroughly by our vineyard team and some are disgarded if necessary. Nonetheless they are checked again and sorted on arrival in the cellar. They are gathered in large crates which are emptied by fork-lift truck on to a vibrating table. This is one of the kindest ways to handle the grapes and, with no risk of mechanical damage, they remain intact and whole.

  • Vibrating Table

    All the grapes are checked again on the vibrating table. Poor-quality Inferior fruit is removed before the grapes are very carefully destemmed.

  • Selection of Individual Grapes

    After the stems are removed, the grapes fall like small marbles onto the next vibrating table. Here small green berries, remaining stems, insects and of course the juice of burst, damaged fruit is separated by sieve from the top-quality grapes. Once again the individual grapes are checked and sorted – poor-quality fruit and stem fragments are removed. Finally, only perfect, healthy grapes pass on into the crusher where their skins are slightly crushed.

  • Fermentation

    The sorted, slightly crushed red grape berries move directly into the fermentation tanks, complete with their skins, which give colour, aroma and substance to wines. Here the fermentation process starts slowly, transforming the sugar into alcohol with yeast. All our wines are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats in order to ensure optimal fermentation conditions. Red wine fermentation takes place at maxiumum 30 degrees. The high temperature and the nutrient-rich skins and fruit of the grapes ensure very vigorous and rapid fermentation . The white grapes are pressed after sorting and checking, and the pure grape juice is then fermented without skins and fruit. This process demands time and cool conditions between 18 and 20 degrees in order to enhance and retain the aroma and the freshness of the grapes.

  • Pomace Circulation

    As red wine ferments vigorously and quickly, the circulation of the pomace is particularly important during this process in order to get maximum colour, aroma and tannins from the skins. The fermenting juice is always in contact with the skins, is released at the bottom of the tanks and sprayed from the top over the press cake (consisting of skin and seeds). This ensures that the skins floating to the top of the tank never dry out and always remain well moistened.

  • End of Fermentation Process

    The red wine fermentation process takes three to five days, although the wine produced remains a further two to three weeks in the pomace in order to absorb more bouquet and tannins. Only then are the fermented wines and the drained pomace taken out of the vat. White wines have to be fermented much more slowly and carefully – a process which can take three to five weeks.

  • Pressing

    White wine is put through a final pressing process before fermentation and must slowly clarify when the sugar has been reduced and before the sediments are extracted. Red wine is separated into two parts: first the free-run wine is released from the tank - the strained wine. The floating pomace cake remains and is gently pressed –the press wine. Usually both parts are combined immediately as they complement each other very well. Only then can both the strained wine and the press wine be processed separately.

  • Lees

    This is what remains after both white and red wines are pressed. The lees are made up of the almost dry-pressed berries which are of course used to make grape brandy or as fertilizer in the vineyards.

  • Barrique Barrels

    As red wines account for 75 % of our production and the white wines simply have to age in the vat after the first clarification process, we only keep an eye on the barrique cellar. After pressing, the fermented red wines are filled into oak barrels (225 litre capacity) and stored in the large barrique cellar.

  • Biological Conversion of Acid

    The biological conversion of acid , also known as malolactic fermentation now takes place in the small oak barrels. We heat up our barrique cellar to about 20 degrees C in order to create optimal conditions for the bacteria. They work hard over a number of weeks to convert the very sharp malic acid into much milder lactic acid. This also gives the red wines microbiological stability.

  • Care of the Barrels

    Immediately after acid conversion process – usually before Christmas – the wines must be removed from the barrels again to get rid of the sediment. This sediment has the wonderful deep violet tones of the young red wines and is used to paint the middles of the barrique barrels. The wines then go into oak barrels and back to the now cooler cellar to mature.

  • Ageing of Wines

    One of the most important factors for full-bodied red wines is cellar ageing at cool temperatures and relatively high humidity. After fermentation and biological acid conversion, the wines appear to be unformed and without a distinctive bouquet. As it ages, wine finds harmony and assumes its own character. During this time it is very important to top up the barrels every two to three weeks (liquid always evaporates from wood ), clean the outside surfaces and protect the wines from oxidation.

  • Anna-Christina Cellar

    Some of our wines remain in the barrel for up to six months before they are bottled. Our top cuvée, Anna-Christina, is given a lot more time to mature and develop and is left for about twenty months in the oak barrels. It spends its first year with the other wines in the large barrique cellar, but is brought for the second year of maturation into our old stone cellar which naturally offers perfect conditions for barrel storage. At the end of the storage period, one of the most important tasks of the wine-grower is to taste and assess its individual components (Zweigelt, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) and choose the composition of the final cuvée.

  • Bottling

    When the wines have matured and achieved harmony and balance, they are bottled, stored for a short while and can then at last be tasted by customers and wine-lovers, and are of course available for purchase.