Process: Piattelli Estate Wines
Being estate level means that we can both listen to your feedback and respond to your wants and needs.More
There is so much that must go into wine products before you ever see them in the marketplace that it’s essential for us to monitor the way your tastes are trending in order to anticipate what they’ll be two years down the road. While Piattelli wines are very popular and we believe that we bring a certain influence to the way tastes are being shaped in the marketplace, we also recognize how important it is listen to your feedback in order to anticipate how your tastes might be evolving.
Right now most North Americans enjoy red wines that tend to be dry and fruit-forward. Will it be the same in two years? The products we’re producing right now must be crafted with that questions in mind. That’s why we seek out and so much appreciate your feedback—because we believe the best way to plan where we’re going is to truly understand where we’ve been.Less
Being estate level means that we grow our grapes in vineyards we either own or directly manage.More
Because 90% of the quality of the wine is the grape, we take great care of all that goes into nurturing the ground, tending the vines, and growing the grapes. Besides our own vineyards, we collaborate with a few other, carefully selected growers with whom we have longstanding relationships and a similar growing philosophy. We visit these vineyards at least three or four times per season and then every week during the harvest. We take samples and ensure the quality of the grapes as if they were our own vineyards. It’s the personal attention that is the key.
Almost without exception this is not the case with mass producers. When dealing with thousands of acres, there is no possible way for the winemaker to have the personal knowledge of the situation on the ground. Oversight is therefore delegated far down the chain of command and the winemaker can only hope for the best.Less
Being estate-level means that we choose the precise moment to harvest the grapes in each of our vineyards.More
Deciding exactly when to harvest takes a lot of experience and is a crucial decision as harvesting locks in the flavor of the grapes. When harvest time draws near, we begin taking samples every week to analyze the acidity, PH, sugars and taste. Tasting is the most important step as it determines the right moment to actually harvest. Our winemaker, Valeria Antolin, personally goes to each vineyard and tastes for flavor, astringency, bitterness, sweetness, and to make sure the grapes don’t become overly ripe.
This is generally not the case with mass-producers. They most often can't afford to wait until the grapes are perfectly ripe and end up with a range of grapes from under- to over-ripened.
Once the grapes are picked by hand, we transport them in 40-lb. boxes so that they arrive intact and unbroken. Mass producers often don’t have this luxury and their grapes often don’t remain intact, which can introduce contaminants into the juice.Less
Being Estate Level means that we can precisely manage how grapes are blended in the crush to preserve their character.More
When the grapes arrive in the winery, we inspect the clusters, sort them, and separate out any bad clusters and leaves. Then the grapes go into a de-stemmer and then from there they get crushed in the same de-stemmer. Our goal isn't to produce generic flavors, but the robust flavors that result from respecting the terror of each cluster.
This is impossible for mass producers to achieve. Because they deal in hundreds of thousands and millions of cases, in order to achieve a consistent flavor they must obliterate the uniqueness resulting from each growing region and produce a very homogenized, generic flavor. It may not taste like "nothing," but certainly tastes like it came from "nowhere."Less
Being estate level means that, for our Grand Reserve wines, our team manually tends to the needs of the estate wines while it ferments in our tanks.More
During fermentation the skins and fruit or lees rise to the top of the tanks, we call it the hat. We use a large tool to manually push the hat down 3 times a day. This increases the interaction that the fruit has with the wine during fermentation.
Our premium wines use a method that pumps the wine over the top of the hat 3 times a day. This is the tactic that large producers use, but they still use even larger tanks than we do. The close attention that our team can pay to the wines during the 10-20 days of fermentation and subsequent malolactic fermentation means they can decide exactly when the acidity is where they need it to be. The large batches that mass-producers work with lose the ability to have a close, personal touch from the winemakers.Less
Being estate level means we take the time to monitor each barrel to determine exactly when to bottle.More
Each vineyard plot is kept separately in barrels so that their unique flavors are isolated to more keenly create final blends. We taste each barrel monthly to monitor their progression.
We use each barrel for no more than 3 vintages because after that, they do not give the flavors we desire to the wines.
Our oaked Premium wines are in the barrel for 8-9 months. Our Grand Reserve wines all go in the barrel for 12-13 months.Less