Thursday, November 1, 2012

Diary of a Sommelier Student - Punching Down in Paternopoli (Av)

Luigi Tecce

Rimontaggio....
 
The answer given to me by Luigi Tecce to my question "What are you doing up there?' while visiting him last weekend at his winery in Paternopoli in Irpinia.  I was a little disappointed that I missed harvesting his Aglianico grapes with him this year, memories of last year's harvest flashing through my mind.  This year in Irpinia, many wineries harvested 10-14 days earlier than usual.  But that disappointment turned to curiosity as I watched Tecce at work.  He was performing an operation which is crucial during the fermentation/maceration period of his Aglianico must.   
Remontage.  Pumping over.   Punching down.   

During red wine fermentation, the grape skins are in contact with the must absorbing elements such as tannins and rich color.  As sugar turns to alcohol, carbon dioxide is also produced pushing the grape skins up up up to the top of the stainless steel or wooden vat forming a cap. ( I remember reading about this in my level 1 sommelier course books)


Since the must needs that important contact with the skins and stems...a wine maker needs to pump the must from the bottom of the tank over the top....




or punch the cap down manually ensuring that the must can extract the  flavor, the body, and the color desired.



pumping....

punching....


by machine...


by hand...


Yeah, I missed the harvest...the vendemmia, but I did get an interesting look at what goes on afterwards in Luigi's cantina...



No comments:

Post a Comment