Our Vin Santo
Our Vin Santo.
"Respect for tradition, for a timeless wine."
The method by which we make our vin santo, deserves to be told.
We start in late September with the harvesting of the white grapes of Trebbiano toscano and Malvasia, when they are at the right degree of ripeness, with an exclusively manual harvesting.
The selected grapes, are accommodated by hand in 20 kg crates, so as to keep the grapes intact during transport to the appassitoio, where later, they will be taken back in hand again to be placed on specially constructed mats or trellised trays. The grapes will dry according to a natural process and without any withering method by forced ventilation, naturally dehydrating and concentrating the sugars over the following months until the grapes are pressed.
In spring, in a favorable period meteorologically, the wine is vinified where thanks to a pressing-which often, can also be by hand-the juice of the grapes will be extracted.
Having obtained this, the actual fermentation will proceed.
Vin santo fermentation, an act of "good faith"
The transformation of the must into wine, does not differ, in terms of traditionality, from the rest of the production process.
The harvested must, with its high sugar concentration, is then decanted into small 45, 50-liter barrels, commonly called " caratelli" and sealed.
Inside these, there is a liquid, "the mother," where yeasts and aromas from previous vintages have naturally selected themselves to survive musts of such high sugar concentration.
Thanks to this absolutely natural selection, inoculation of selected yeasts can be avoided, leaving the lees to act in the development of a complex and slow fermentation that can stop and restart several times, giving ever-changing results. The ability to select a "mother," suitable for the fermentation process is extremely important for the success of the wine, and only the experience of those who work the grapes and the kegs, can guarantee the final quality of the product.
The "mother" therefore is a liquid that passes through the decades and can come to be a collection of a legacy of different liquids that are also hundreds of years old.
Wine aging and the "real" Vin Santo
After being placed in the cask and the end of fermentation, the wine begins to age almost always in the same vessel.
It is through this symbiotic process between the wine and its vessel-often responsible for the final taste-that the product takes on distinctive characteristics from an organoleptic point of view.
At this stage, the condition of the environment in which the wine rests also matters a great deal, allowing the temperature outside the casks to be controlled by limiting the temperature range within a constant temperature range. In our case, the estate's Vin Santo, finds in the same place, in San Casciano val di pesa, both the withering chamber and the aging rooms, in the attic of the oil mill, an iconic place of the farm.
Once the aging is over, not earlier than three years, but more often even more than five, the final product is bottled, with materials of the highest quality.
The whole production process, long and expensive, gives the right dimension of why the final cost of Vin Santo is so high.
The company has also always produced a vin santo for Mass, which is used exclusively for liturgical ceremonies and is not offered for sale, respecting its production vocation, which has always been linked to religious functions.