The racking process
The racking is the winemaking operation through which the skins and the liquid are separated, once the maceration is over. In practice, the racking is the first pour off that the winemaker does, when the process of transformation from grape must to wine is over according to the wanted requisites. It is a typical passage of winemaking in red (with grapes). With this procedure the wine is separated from the marc, once the right extraction of compound has been reached.
The racking at Poggio al Bosco
The phase of racking is a very important moment, which will determine the best result for our red wines. Once the fermentation is completed, the vat is opened from the lower valve, only the ‘fiore’ (the clear juice, clean and with no skins or grapes) is extracted and moved to a clean vat. The skins deposit on the bottom of the vat. Armed with pitchfork, shovel and a lot of patience we have pulled out all the skins and passed them through the pneumatic press to extract the juices. The pressed wine has been moved to a vat in our outdoor cellar to decant, so all the skins’ residuals can deposit on the on the bottom. This wine has higher level of tannins (compared to the ‘fiore’), as the process of pressing extracts the strongest tannins from the grapes (which are also more astringent and bitter). Our pneumatic press makes a more gentle and soft pressing compared to the more traditional presses, giving us a high quality pressed wine, without crushing the grapes. Once the decantation is over, the pressed wine is tasted and evaluated, to decide whether we will put it with the clear wine or keep separate. At this point the skins have no more liquid to extract and their winemaking function is over.
But, as the different aromas of grapes are in the skin, their utility is not over yet. The dry skins are kept into bags, ready to be transported to the distillery and transformed into our Grappa Cuore di Toscana.