Life starts in the vineyards …
Geographical and climate conditions in Armenia are exceptional for vine growing. It gives us the opportunity to grow vines in high altitudes (from 850 up to 1650 meters above sea level), thus create authentic wines. Volcanic soils, harsh climate and high altitude create an interesting union of the terroir’s elements.
Harvest starts in August with grapes of “future bubblies” and lasts up until the end of October with Black Areni. All grapes are hand-harvested, according to their maturity period. Grapes are hand-selected in the vineyards first, then they pass a second selection on vibrating tables.
A Delta Oscillys (Bucher Vaslin) destemmer is used for the destemming process. It uses an ample swinging motion of the one or two cages to separate the grapes from the stems by inertia.
Thanks to the inertia effect, there are many advantages: preserved integrity of the berries, preserved state of the stems (no break, no grinding up), fully separation of the grapes from the stems, elimination of shot berries, verjus, dry grapes, unripen grapes that remain on the stems. A third visual selection of berries is carried out after destemming of the grapes on a sorting table.
LIFE GOES ON IN CELLARS…
Once carefully selected and destemmed, red grapes are placed in temperature-controlled tanks for fermentation. White grapes are placed in a pneumatic press for juice extraction under controlled atmosphere. The innovating process of pressing under controlled atmosphere guarantees 100% of the pressed juices extracted without oxidation. According to the grape variety and origin, grapes are vinified separately, leaving the creative process of assemblages to the winemaker.
Alcoholic fermentation lasts for around 14 days in temperature-controlled tanks. Malolactic fermentation occurs in barrels or tanks. The cellar and tanks are designed with the approach of minimizing wine manipulations by using gravity benefits where it is possible.
Our wines undergo the aging process in Armenian and French oak barrels stored in the “treasury” of our winery – the aging cellar. The cellar is digged down 6.5 m into igneous rock- basalt.
The bottling process is organized through the high-end bottling line (6000 bottles per hour) designed by Bertolaso Company, allowing to bottle still and sparkling wines in the best possible conditions. Having our own laboratory, we have the complete set of resources to ensure quality control throughout the entire production process.
Practices of making sparkling wine is similar to the production of still wine only with some noted divergence.
At the vineyard, grapes are harvested earlier (for instance, August 20th) when there is still high acidity level. The primary fermentation of sparkling wine begins like most other white wines. Afterwords, the wine is filled into autoclaves for a secondary fermentation. It is through the initiation of a secondary fermentation that distinguishes sparkling wine production and gives the wine its characteristic “bubbles”.
The fresh yeast and sugar mixture is added to the wine, which rapidly stimulates fermentation. One of the byproducts of secondary fermentation is the creation of carbon dioxide gas.
We use the Charmat method according to which secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel fermentation tanks that are pressurized.