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The punch down

During the wine fermentation process, the sugar found in grapes turns into alcohol and releases carbon dioxide gas, thus increasing temperature. The punch down is one of the tasks carried out to control the fermentation temperature and to protect the wine. “It is a truly old method but, while in old times everything was done by hand, now we use modern technology tools such as a pneumatic punch down device,” explains Leonardo Puppato, our enologist. “What we do is to punch down or push down the grapes, submerging them in the liquid because, in the tank, the grape grains and the seeds are floating on top.” Since the color is in the skin, it is necessary to soak the grains in the must, so that the juice begins to extract color from the skins. The longer time the juice sits with the skins, the more color the wine will have. Besides, there is some pump over, or remontage, in which the juice from the bottom is sprayed over the cap – the grape solids, that is to say, the seeds and the skins. 

Within the winery’s premises there is a winemaking facility with tanks specially designed to make Pinot Noir wines. They are smaller, open-at-the-top tanks that facilitate the punch down process. 

The enology team carried out several tests in which these tanks were used to make wines from other grape varieties –such as Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot – with excellent results. So this section has been kept aside for the purpose of making, with our best grapes, Familia Schroeder, our top line of high-end wines.