Classic technology for production of Inkerman wines
Wine begins with grapes; for this very reason, experts undertake so much effort and pay much attention to working with vine. This is a true art, because one needs to take into account numerous particularities. The most interesting and important operation is trimming the bushes before the upcoming harvest. Trimming leads to a certain load on the bush, thus avoiding too many berries’ maturing on it. This is done to ensure that the vine will use all its strength to produce fewer grapes, but the ripe berries will be more fragrant and contain more sugars.
Did you know that grapes had several stages of maturity? The first degree of maturity is when it is ready to produce a brandy. Then the grapes will ripen up to the stage of being ready to turn into a sparkling wine. If you do not collect them at this moment, a little later they will become mature enough to make dry, semi-dry and semi-sweet wines. Then the grapes are ready for strong or dessert wine.
Each degree of maturity is characterized not only by sweetness, but also by acidity of grapes (ratio of malic and tartaric acids and their respective amounts), as well as by aromatic colouring of the berries. In any case, the grapes must be harvested at the right moment and carefully and quickly delivered to the place of processing.
SEPARATION OF BERRIES
Having arrived for processing and having passed all the necessary measurements, the grapes fall into the grape stalk separator. Bitter-sour, astringent taste and grassy aroma - this is what a grape stalk can give to a wine, so we separate the berries from the grape stalk before commencing the grapes pressing. The racemations fall into the drum, where they are slowly rotated along a spiral, while the berries come off and drop through the holes in the drum, and the stalks remain in the drum and thereupon, are disposed of.
Next, you need to divide the berries into a solid part - pulp, and the liquid part - must. The pulp consists of the grapes hulls and seeds, whereas the must in winemaking is a pure grape juice. Since the ancient times, the winemakers have used pressure to produce the must. However, earlier, our own feet were used for such pressing, and nowadays, we use a membrane pneumatic press, in which the grapes are squeezed, using an elastic membrane, which, like the human feet, is physically unable to crush the grape seeds. Thus, the must has no harsh aftertastes.
When the berries are collected in the press, they are compressed under their own weight. The juice collected in this way is the sweetest and most "subtle". It is called the "yema". Thereupon, the press squeezes the grapes and they turn into not so thin, but more flavourful must of the first pressure. In total, these two fractions of the must account for 70% of the mass of all berries. Some producers, who are eager to get volumes rather than quality, are trying to receive more must, resorting to the second and third pressure. We do not apply such method, because it would not enable us to attain production of a high-quality wine.
RANCIO (INFUSION/FERMENTING ON SEEDS AND SKINS)
If we cut a grape berry, we will see that it has colourless flesh. There are exceptions, but more often, in order to ensure that the wine has a deep colour, it is necessary that the must should contact its own seeds and skins. In addition, the main flavour is also found in the layers of the berries flesh, which are very close to the skin. Therefore, the must is infused on the seeds and skins or winemakers start fermentation of the must together with the seeds and skins. The moment when it is the time to separate the must from the seeds and skins is determined by the harmony between the richness of flavour and softness of taste. The longer the must is in contact with the seeds and skins, the more intense the aroma and colour will be, but excessive extraction will result in the taste coarsening and the wine will become unpleasantly austere.
The fermentation process is the real magic of turning the grape juice into the wine. This process occurs due to wine yeast. We use specially grown yeast, because the right yeast gives a result that can be foreseen and relied on; therefore, we will be able to guarantee the same high quality.
During fermentation, it is important to monitor the temperature in the tank. At high temperatures, fermentation proceeds so rapidly that, together with the active release of carbon dioxide, which is formed during fermentation, the light, delicate substances of the aroma evaporate. However, if the temperature is too low, the fermentation can stop before all the sugars are processed by the yeast into alcohol. Such a premature stop is dangerous because the material of insufficient fermentation may wake up later and change uncontrollably.
REMOVAL OF THE YEAST DEPOSIT
Upon completion of fermentation, the yeast is deposited at the bottom of the tank. Wine material is removed from this deposit, filtered and purified from unwanted impurities, such as yeast cell residues. In practice, this is a ready-to-drink beverage, but it requires adding the author's final flourish.
AGEING IN CASKS
Many are aware of the integral element of winemaking, which is an oak cask. Not all wines need a cask, as it changes the taste and bouquet of wine. Nevertheless, wines aged in casks are often somewhat more expensive than non-aged in casks. The price difference is directly affected by complexities of the ageing technology.
One of the most illustrative examples of winemaking is blending, that is, mixing wine materials to obtain the author's result. Winemakers test all the wine materials that have passed the necessary technological steps. Thereupon, they determine the most suitable samples and mix the wine materials in the measuring glass so that the strengths of the samples from different casks or stainless tanks strengthen the bouquet and balance the taste of each other. Those wines that do not pass the selection will participate in a similar tasting within a month and then, perhaps, their “companions” from other lots will be mature enough, given that additional aging will change them a little.
Such an approach to blending is possible only in a large-scale production and enables us to maintain quality at a high level at all times.
As a result of a complex process that includes high-quality grapes, observance of all technological processes, the art of our winemakers, we produce a bright, aromatic, natural wine - Inkerman - which is the pride of Ukrainian winemaking.