In the vineyard, the date of harvest is decided by the winemaker depending on the level of sugar (25 Brix) and the acidity. For the red grapes, the ripeness of poly-phenols (tannins and anthocyanins) is the most important matter in order to produce good red wines. For some special wines like Late Harvest semi-sweet white wine, the grapes are lightly over ripened in order to get a higher level of sugar before fermentation.
Dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc):
After pressing at low temperature (5° C) the must is sent into a first decantation tank. The temperature is controlled at 10°C during 24 hours. The next day, the clear juice is racked into a second tank and the temperature is controlled at 16°C. Then, a selected yeast is added to start the AF (Alcoholic Fermentation).
The temperature is controlled at 16°C all along AF. Then some sulfates are added for conservation.
During 1 year, the wine will receive different treatments to stabilize it and will be filtrated before bottling.
Dry red wine (Shiraz-Tempranillo, Shiraz and Pinot Noir):
After crushing the grapes, they are sent into a maceration tank. Then a selected yeast is added to start Alcoholic Fermentation. The maceration time depends of the winemaker decision: when he estimates that the color is deep enough and the tannins are well balanced, the maceration is ended. The free run juice is sent into a fermentation tank and the grape skin to the press.
The temperature of Fermentation is 24°C.
When alcoholic fermentation is finished, some lactic bacteria is added in order to transform the malic acid in lactic acid. This second fermentation is called malo-lactic fermentation. Then the wine is stabilized with sulfites.
Some wines (Pinot Noir & Shiraz 2009), are aged in new oak barrels from Europe during 12 months. Then the wines are bottled.
For the fortified wines, the beginning of the process is the same than for the dry wines. At mid fermentation, some brandy is added in order to end the fermentation. The temperature is dropped down as low as possible (0°C). Then the alcoholic fermentation stops because the conditions become tough for the yeasts to survive: high alcohol level, high residual sugar level and very low temperature. Then the wine is stabilized like the other wine.