Valpolicella winery are not mere containers for casks and bottles of wine. They represent a real historical and cultural tradition that combines, in an indissoluble way, cultivation and processing of grapes. Wine cellars contribute to the success of the final red, white, rose or sparkling wine. Whether it is an Amarone della Valpolicella, rather than a Recioto, the winery influences the product. The premises destined to the vinification and to the keeping of wine must necessarily meet a set of rules, regulations and precise indications. The reference norms are the municipal hygienic and building regulations, ASL regulations and the Legislative Decree 81/08 annex IV – Requirements for workplaces.
Each environment has unique characteristics ranging from humidity to temperature, from lighting to odor. Every detail is taken care of according to the final result to be obtained, always taking into account the intrinsic characteristics of the wine in production.
Vinification: fermentation tank and temperature
The production process depends on the type of vinification to be done. Therefore there are different machines, different spaces and different processes. In general terms, the processes which condition the functional organization of Valpolicella wineries are:
- crushing and destemming
- storage of bottles
The environments of a winery are different according to the production phase. The quality of wine certainly depends on the type of grape, but also on the treatment it undergoes during the whole production cycle. The rooms destined to wine making must be closed environments with temperature and humidity control. In this area the conditions to be respected are:
- temperature not higher than 26° C for red wine fermentation
- temperature not higher than 20° C (68° F) for white wine fermentation
- avoid the accumulation of carbon dioxide (which tends to stagnate at workers’ height) through openings or, in any case, ventilation systems
- openings facing outwards must be protected by anti-insect netting
- the passage of the workers between the fermenters (the tanks for fermentation) must be of 1.20 m
- The distance between the fermentation tank and the walls must be 0.60 m to facilitate cleaning and sanitization.
The must is contained in fermenters, thermo-conditioned containers, therefore the environmental temperature can be the result of a compromise between the process temperatures and the operator’s comfort temperatures..
Caratteristiche generali: umidità, temperatura, luce e odore
Refinement and aging rooms need particular devices for the control of the internal microclimate. The quality of wine also depends on its keeping and on the container in which it is aged/stored. When the production process includes the use of thermo-conditioned fermenters, many problems can be solved by themselves. In case the wine is going to be aged or refined in barrique, in cask or in bottle, it is necessary to keep under control humidity, air temperature, lighting and any possible bad smell.
In these cases it is required:
- air temperature for red wines 12-14°C (54-44°F)
- Air temperature for white wines 10-11°C
- constant air speed 1 m/s
- relative humidity rate 80/85
- average illuminance not exceeding 250-300 lux
- Absolutely avoid vibrations and intense unpleasant odors
Wine ages faster when exposed to light. Therefore Valpolicella cellars must be dark. Exposure to sunlight can in fact cause the aggregation and precipitation of polyphenols. Therefore the rooms must have few openings towards the outside and the thickness of the walls, in correspondence of possible openings, must be very high.
Lastly, wine has the property of absorbing smells. For this reason it is important that in the storage rooms there are no unpleasing and annoying smells. Wine must not be stored together with other foods and/or foreign substances.
Valpolicella Winery: supports and arrangement of bottles
Wine is always kept in a horizontal position, with the label always facing upwards and easily readable. The best way to keep them is by using proper shelves, which can be made of many different materials: wood, metal, terracotta, etc…
Fratelli Vogadori’s Wine Cellar: a visit in the world of wine
Valpolicella is one of the most renowned and appreciated wine areas in Italy. A success that has always been growing in time and that today sees dozens of local wineries involved in the production of real and proper excellences. One of them is, without any doubt, Fratelli Vogadori’s winery. A temple of wines where the innovative and technological production process is supported by traditional methods and an endless passion for a high quality product.
In this winery it is possible to taste the real taste of a great wine, with an important history and an intense taste. A wine that wrote the history of this land, a winery that can and must be visited in order to plunge into an ancient and unique atmosphere. A leap into the past which starts from the taste evocation of a primitive wine, which brings back mind and heart to a past era.