Winemaking is both science and art. Science comes into play with the chemical and biological processes which we analyse in our in-house laboratory. Art, on the other hand, comes into play when it comes to striking the right balance between practical knowledge and the right touch for choosing grape varieties, grape pressing, fermentation and ageing. Finding this sweet spot enables us to craft the distinct aromas and flavours of our wines.
Journey from the grape to the bottle
Let the winemaking begin
The key steps take place in the vineyard, where the pickers scrutinise every grape they harvested. It is vital that the grapes are delivered to the cellar in small crates or boxes as fast as possible, ensuring minimal damage in the process. Our team makes sure to carefully inspect the grapes that had been brought in.
Healthy grapes with adequate sugar levels are sent to the destemmer, where the berries are separated from the stems. To make top-quality wines, the berries have to go through a sorting table where any damaged, dry or unripe berries are eliminated.
During maceration, which is also when alcoholic fermentation takes place, the skins and pips release colouring agents, tannins, and aromatic compounds. In our winery, maceration can last from a few hours to a few days, in wooden or stainless vinifiers that allow us to control the fermentation temperature. Up to 300,000 kg of grapes can be fermented in one cycle.
The art of pressing
Pressing is a skill – it requires knowledge, experience and a special touch. It is very important to be as gentle as possible in this step, which is why we rely on pneumatic presses that rely on vacuum to delicately extract the must from the mash. The pressing process has to be adjusted to the specific characteristics of the grapes and the respective varieties as well as the intended wine style and type. We are especially careful to prevent excessive release of phenolic compounds into the must, as this can lead to astringency. With proper pressing, the result is a must rich in sugar, naturally occurring aromas and organic acids.
Wine takes time
Ageing is a unique winery process during which wine acquires fullness and complexity. Depending on the style of wine we want to create and the ageing potential of each variety, we age wine in stainless steel tanks or wooden oak barrels, in different sizes and for different periods of time.
The large tanks located in the technological part of the cellar are filled with Cviček waiting to be bottled. The smaller 2,000 to 10,000 litre tanks hold and age varietal wines and sparkling wine bases.
Blaufränkisch is ageing, Sleeping Beauty-style, in the ancient castle cellars in 1,000-3,000 litre oak barrels.
The wine library is where we refine our selected varietal wines and special harvest wines, with the oldest vintage dating back to 1985.
The designated filling room features an automatic filling line with a capacity of 2,300 bottles per hour. The bottling operations take place in aseptic conditions, and we are extra mindful to ensure sterility at all times.
Quality control from start to finish
Commitment to quality serves as our foremost winemaking principle. To this end, we are involved in every step of the winemaking process – from vineyard supervision, grape pickup, cellaring, bottling and shipping to stores. Our in-house lab conducts analyses throughout the entire winemaking process. Under the guidance of our in-house oenologist, our team checks in on the condition of must or wine throughout the day, and makes decisions accordingly. Meticulous work and expertise helps us to uphold a consistent standard of quality.