Early Organic Wine Harvest in Argentina For Inkarri Brut Sparkling
Matteo Acme, Export Manager for Proviva winery and the Inkarri brand, gives us an inside look at their first harvest of 2020 in Argentina. The white grapes in the early harvest are for one of the newest additions to our organic wine portfolio, Biodynamic Inkarri Brut Sparkling. Matteo gives us an in-depth look at the unique vinification process that creates this fabulous sparkling wine.
“After a very hot summer this year’s harvest is being expedited, almost one month earlier than usual. At the beginning of February, we started harvesting some white grapes, particularly those that will become Inkarri Brut Sparkling – Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from our vineyard in Agrelo.
At the winery the carefully selected grapes are stored in a refrigeration cell for the night in order to start the fermentation in the morning with a cooler temperature. The grapes are whole cluster pressed, then the must is divided into four different batches depending on the volume and the quality. The must is chilled and kept still for natural clarification, then racked to the fermenter.
As we don’t “inoculate” the wine with any added yeast to start the fermentation, winemaker Gabriel Bloise uses a traditional and manual method to work with the native “wild” yeast: he prepares a “Pied de Cuve.” This method is a way to encourage a clean and safe fermentation without external inputs. The Pied de Cuve is a kicker for the transformation of the must in wine, allowing fermentation to start with ambient, rather than inoculated, yeast. It’s a technique which is more laborious and risky than simply adding selected yeasts to the must, but gives much more authentic and pure results. A small batch of grapes is separated from the others, then crushed by hand in a small container, covered but not sealed and stored at medium temperature. These conditions encourage the yeasts present on the skins and in the pulp to ferment in a controlled environment.
Natural Yeast Fermentation
When the fermentation reaches good levels, Gabriel examines which yeasts are active, if the good ones are the majority of the yeasts this small fermented batch is put in the vat together with the rest of the de-stemmed grapes and fermentation begins in earnest.
The wine is fermented for 30 days at a controlled temperature between 61ºF – 64ºF. Secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks for 30 days following a short Charmat Method. This ‘closed tank method’ places the wine in a large stainless-steel pressurized autoclave to produce its beautiful, abundant bubbles. The wine is then bottled without any dosage (addition of sugar).”
“Inkarri Brut Sparkling shows fine bubbles, bright yellow color and greenish reflections. Aromas of peaches and white flowers with pineapples and refreshing citric notes in the mouth.” Gabriel Bloise, Winemaker
The wine is perfect as an aperitif, ideal with sushi and seafood. It also goes well with cheese and light dishes of fish and poultry.