Wine Production Process

Rectoral do Umia · D.O. Rías Baixas

50 años de experiencia

Production

The manufacturing process of the different white wines of the Rías Baixas DO begins with the monitoring of the phytosanitary treatments and the vine related cultural practices on the winegrowers’ plots or farms. According to their location, health status extension, variety and analytical parameters, a harvest calendar is created.

The grape harvest is done manually using boxes of about eighteen kilos which are then transported in vehicles to the reception at the winery, where a second quality control is carried out before the grapes are divided into lots and unloaded into the receiving hopper. The Harvesting is carried out between early September and October.

Production

Once the grape has been unloaded on the reception hopper we proceed to the de-stemming process thus eliminating the cluster stems that can leave herbaceous traces in the musts. The resulting paste is then cooled using a tubular heat exchanger and follows two different production processes:

Pressing

Consists on pressing at a pressure lower than 0.8 Bar. The tear must is obtained and needs to be cleared of any dirt by letting it stand for 48 hours at a temperature of 8-10°C, so that the solid particles are deposited at the bottom of the tank, and then decanting it in order to separate the lees and start the fermentation in stainless steel tanks with cooling jackets at a temperature of 16-18°C with previously selected yeasts from representative or industrial plots, controlling at all times the fermentation process, density and temperature. The fermentation time at this temperature is about 15-20 days.

Maceration

Maceration of the grapes selected for its qualities. After the de-stemming process the grapes are transferred to the maceration units, where the must is in contact with the peel in order to extract as much flavour and varietal character as possible.

50 años de experiencia

Fermentation

During the malolactic fermentation, the amount of malic acid that is breaking down and of the volatile acidity are strictly monitored so when the malic acid level is at around 0.1 g., it is time for decanting and sulphiting in order to remove lactic bacteria.

Devatted

After the fermentation is finished, the wine is devatted in order to oxygenate it and remove the solid parts. At this moment a complete test of the wine is also carried out before its clarification so that any possible suspended remains can be dragged, then it is centrifuged and stabilized against tartaric precipitations and filtered before bottling.

Stabilization

Tartaric stabilization can be achieved by adding to the wine Metatartaric acid (a compound with short term protective nature; recommended treatment for quick rotation and consumption wines), or by a continuous cold treatment.

 

Cold stabilization involves subjecting the wine to a temperature close to its freezing point, which is the resulting value, in negative, of dividing the abv by two and subtracting one; thus, a 12% wine would be cooled to -5°C. This process is carried out at our facilities continuously (continuous stabilization); traditionally the wine used to be cooled at stabilization temperature and then maintained at isothermal tanks for 8-10 days.

50 años de experiencia

Sterilization

When using the continuous cooling system, the wine leaves the site through a diatomaceous earth filter and is then filtered through a tangential filter, so it remains stabilized and clean, ready for bottling when it is needed.

 

Prior to bottling the wine is sterilized, either by amicrobic filtration or by thermal decomposition. The latter consists on bottling the wine at a temperature between 45-50 °C. This hot bottling process is done in 11% red wine, heating the wine with a resistance located before the filling machine.

 

The amicrobic filtration is used for the sterilization of the rest of the range of wines. In this process the wine passes through a series of amicrobic filters comprising three stages: a first stage with three micron cartridges, the second with one micron cartridges and a third stage with 0.65 micron membranes.

 

The filtration and filling process is direct, that is, the wine goes directly from the filter to the filling machine.

 

Before the winery tanks are filled, the wine goes to the buffer tank which has the purpose of ensuring that the line always has wine, that it is never empty. For white wines, after passing the buffer tank and before the filling machine, the wine goes through a saturator where CO2 is added.

50 años de experiencia

Bottling

For the bottling of wines that contain sugar levels higher than 5 g/l (semi-dry, semi-sweet and sweet wines), we start from dry wines to which we then add rectified concentrated must, according to the amount of sugar needed, and potassium sorbate in order to biologically stabilize the wine from potential re-fermentations.

 

Once the wine is prepared, it is stabilized by cold, filtered by tangential filter and then bottled using 0.45 micron membranes. It is possible in our facilities, if the customer requires it, to bottle this kind of wine using the hot bottling process, warming the wine prior to bottling at 45-50°C.

 

Our renewed bottling line, which enables the bottling of 12,000 b/h, starts with a thrust depalletizer that carries the bottles by layers over an accumulation table.

 

The conveyors carry the bottles to a 40-head rinsing machine connected to a 50-tap filling machine that consists of a nitrogen injection system before and after filling, which expels any residual air from the headspace of the bottle, thereby achieving additional protection against oxidation. The filling machine is completed with an automatic levelling system subject to the temperature of the wine and a corking machine that allows the use of both natural and synthetic cork.

Line Sterilization

In order to avoid re-contamination this rinsing-filling-corking process is covered with a cleanroom encapsulation.

The bottles are rinsed with water that passes in a close circuit through an amicrobic filter adjacent to the rinsing machine.

 

Sterilization of the line is done every day, before and after bottling.

 

After finishing bottling the complete line is washed with hot water (90°C), and then the process is repeated with cold water.

 

Finally a solution of acetic acid is used and left to stand until the next day, then everything is rinsed first with hot and then with cold water before starting bottling. This sterilization is controlled automatically by a device placed along the bottling line.

 

The box maker and the packing machine allow multiple packing options, while the palletizing robot is the last part of the line. This robot not only distributes the boxes forming each pallet but also carries out the distribution of the bottles in trays without box, allowing for the positioning of the goods directly at the selling point.

50 años de experiencia

Quality Assurance

Our practice of quality assurance, leads to:


· Organoleptic and analytical control before bottling.


· Record of the analytical control. Everyday a sample is randomly withdrawn from the finished product. This sample is then tested with a physical-chemical analysis of the following parameters: density at 20°C (g/cc), total dry extract (g/l), abv (% vol.), total acidity (tartaric acid g/l), volatile acidity (acetic acid g/l), reducing sugars (g/l), free and total sulphur (mg/l).


· Tartaric stability tests, for wines that have passed through the continuous cold stabilization system.


· Setting up a sample library, where one sample per batch is stored for a minimum period of one year.


· Weekly microbiological control tests of packaged goods, for observation of yeasts and bacteria.

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