At Piattelli, we believe that it is impossible to make world-class wine without first beginning with world-class grapes. "The best technique in the world won't make up for an environment not perfectly suited to a given varietal," Piattelli Winemaker, Valeria Antolin, says. We follow a low-volume process which means we focus on quality of grapes over quantity of grapes. When a vineyard just focuses on growing a lot of grapes, the effort of the vine is dispersed farther to reach every grape. If there are fewer grapes the vine can focus it's effort more singularly, yeilding healthy and flavorful grapes. All in all, less is more.
Deciding 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 to take samples every week to analyze the acidity, pH, sugars and the taste. Tasting is the most important step as it determines the right moment to actually harvest. Our winemakers Valeria Antolin and Alejandro Nesman, personally go to each vineyard and taste for flavors, astringency, bitterness, sweetness and to make sure the grapes don't become overly ripe. Once it is determined that the grapes are ready - they are then hand-picked and sorted to ensure that the grapes remain intact so no contaminants are introduced to the juice.
We use a gravity feed system which not only is great for sustainable practices, but also maximizes flavor by preventing grapes from breaking prematurely, seeds from being crushed, and juice from being oxygenated and heated. At the top level the grapes are broken open, not crushed and the seeds are kept intact, keeping the juice free from harsh flavors. In the mid-level the wine flows into the fermentation room where constant integration of pulp, skins and juice is maintained for more robust flavors and color. At the bottom level the wine flows down to the barrel room without the use of heat-transferring pumps and pipes for barrel-aging.