As many of you know, we are a coopera4ve which has been opera4ng since 1920 and currently has around 700 members. Thanks to the work and effort of the wine growers (not all the members have a vineyard) we obtain the grapes with which we make our wines. They are responsible for taking care of the land, as well as for harves4ng and delivering the fruit. Likewise, our winemaker Joan Picó, together with the winery’s quality manager, Ricardo Añón, give advice on the maintenance of the vineyards: monitoring progress, changes in ripening or indica4ng the periods for trea4ng the vines.
Wine is a product that requires human labor; the stamp of partners and workers can be seen in every drop.
The receipt of the fruit:
When the grapes reach their op4mum point of ripeness, we begin the harvest and it is the func4on of the partners to collect and transport the grapes directly from their fields to the winery. When the grapes are received at the winery, first of all, parameters directly related to the quality of the grapes are analyzed, being the most important ones, sugar, acidity, potassium and sanitary state. Depending on these parameters and their variety, the grapes are sorted by quality, rejecting those that do not reach the level required for our wines. Then, the bunches go to the destemmercrusher, where the stalk is separated from the bunch, and the grapes are then introduced into the maceration-fermentation tanks. In these tanks, the white grape musts undergo some treatments prior to fermentation and the red ones already do their maceration-fermentation.
Depending on the product that we are going to elaborate, we will proceed to the first fermenta4on: The alcoholic fermenta4on. As a curiosity, not all the wines have to be fermented; the wines of liquor, like our ‘mistela’ (sweet wine), are elaborated from the addi4on of wine alcohol to the must. The alcoholic fermenta4on, in a summary fashion, is the procedure by which some yeasts transform the sugar of the grape into alcohol. In the vast majority of cases, the fermenta4on occurs naturally when the yeast runs out of nutrients. Therefore, the amount of sugar and the degrees of alcohol obtained are directly related. When we talk about red wine, a second fermenta4on can take place, the malolac4c one, where the malic acid is transformed into lactic acid by bacteria that are naturally found in the grape itself and the taste profiles are sogened. When talking about white wines, whether we obtain dry, semi-dry or sweet wines will depend on the time during which we let the yeasts act: the longer they act, the more sugar they will consume. Therefore, the time of fermentation that we will need to obtain a dry wine will be greater than that necessary to obtain a sweet wine. In this sense, fermenta4on can be interrupted when appropriate through physical processes by lowering the temperature of the container even more and applying treatments to reduce the yeast population.
Another of the most important points in the elabora4on of a wine is the process of aging or ageing. The wine obtained during the previous steps is introduced in oak barrels. The wood for the elaboration of barrels is selected mainly for its proper4es of hardness, permeability and porosity. Both the type of oak used (usually French or American), the degree of toas4ng or the number of times the barrels have been used modifies the character of the wine. It is at this point that the wine acquires aromatic notes that during the tas4ng we can iden4fy as toasted, smoked, vanilla and, of course, notes of wood. In La Baronía we focus on French wood for our range of recent wines and we combine both for the more conven4onal wines. To finish, the clarification and bohling:
One of the last steps would be to subject the wines to the action of clarifying substances that drag the small solid par4cles to the bohom. If necessary, this process would finish with wine filtration through a thin membrane. For some wines, prior to bohling, a tartaric stabilization is carried out whose purpose is to avoid the precipita4on of “salts” when the wine is subjected to cold temperatures. To conclude the wine produc4on process, we would finish with the bohling. During the time in bohle, the wine finishes balancing and its aromas and nuances would finish sehling. In our winery, apart from the traditional bohle, we offer the Bag in Box, a system that has been widely used in other countries where the wine is vacuum-packed in bags of various capacities. These bags, which prevent the intrusion of oxygen and maintain the proper4es and quality of the wine for much longer, are in turn protected by a box to avoid direct contact with sunlight.