Grape maturity is monitored weekly from veraison up till two weeks before estimated harvest date and thereupon every other day. Grapes are deemed to be mature for harvesting when they fulfill quality criteria relative to sugar, acid and tannin levels as well as a balance between them. Harvest is conducted manually during early morning to avoid starting off the transformation of grapes into wine with the raw material already at a high temperature. Within less than an hour from picking the fruit is destemmed and very gently crushed (to avoid crushing the seeds) and the first run juice or must together with the pomace (skins + pips) is transferred into stainless steel temperature-controlled fermentation tanks. It is necessary to include the skin with the fermenting must, as the colour of red wine originates exclusively from the skin of the grape.
Selected yeast is then added to start off the fermentation process. Fermentation basically converts the natural sugars present in the wine into alcohol and takes about four weeks to complete. The fermenting wine is kept at a constant temperature throughout the process.
After a few days the fermenting wine is separated from the pomace, which is subjected to gentle pressing in a pneumatic press and a residual amount of juice is extracted. The point of separation of the pomace from the liquid is determined according to colour and taste. An intense lively red hue is desired; extraction of bitter notes is avoided.