Cooling is of utmost importance for us in the winery during several key processes and while designing our new winery, we have gone to extraordinary length to ensure that optimal cooling is available and in a sustainable way. It's very important for us to be able to chill both grapes, juice and wine and at the same time make as little impact as possible on the environment, so despite making the construction of the winery MUCH more expensive we decided to:
1; build the winery down into the ground to benefit from the naturally cooler temperature down there.
2; install photovoltaics on the roof to generate our own clean energy.
3; insulate our building very well; and also the tanks themselves.
Here some of the ways we use cooling to ensure quality.
When the grapes are harvested in individual small baskets by hand and subsequently brought into the winery we immediately enter them into our cooling room and chill them down to 4C in order to keep them ultra fresh before processing them and also to avoid any fermentation starting at this point. This ensures optimum quality and aromas.
In our amazing new tanks we can adjust temperature individually tank by tank and very fast regulate the temperature to exactly the degree we want. This is important at several stages in the vinification. Just after filling up the tanks with the freshly processed juice we chill it down to cold stabilise the juice and let sediments deposit on the bottom. Once "decanted" off the sediments we let the juice heat up and start the fermentation at the optimal temperature for each grape variety and style of wine we want.
Once fermented we also use the temperature to decide and control whether the wines go through malolactic fermentation or not as the bacteria in charge of this magic requires a nice warm environment and cannot work at cold temperatures. Once the wines are ready to be bottles we chill them down to cold stabilise them and let the last sediments precipitate to the bottom of the tanks. This is a much gentler method than using fining agents and again ensures quality and aroma in the wines.
We of course also have cooling installed in our barrel room to ensure that our precious baby wines rest at the perfect temperature while sleeping their beauty sleep in oak barrels.