Quite apart from all the work in the cellar seeding tanks for fermentation, another piece of history was created today… or perhaps I should say, a part of our history was removed.
Years ago we used a special filter, designed to extract every last drop of grape juice from the fangos. (Fangos are the remnants left at the bottom of the tank after the first cold settling). Normally we would collect this fangos in a seperate tank and then allow it to settle for a second time, and then draw a little more perfectly clean, perfectly good quality juice from the top of the tank. It is the residues that were left after this second racking that were once used in this special filter.
The problem is that this last extract of juice is not only of poor quality, but if used, it could often taint the wine with a green, bitter, phenolic taste. This is why we stopped filtering the fangos many years ago. In fact, I think I only saw it done once (perhaps the first year that I was here). Since then, the filtering machine (which as you can see is quite huge), has been sitting gathering dust and occupying a lot of space. Removing this machine is a very significant gesture and a serious step toward more natural and mindful wine making. Of course when we actively stopped using this machine some years ago we never really realised the significance of this decision, it was merely because we wanted to make our wine taste better – as simple as that!
The long and short of it is that the filter has now been sold, and it was finally removed yesterday morning – right in the middle of seeding some tanks. For a few minutes it was quite chaotic, we had people running in all directions!
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