Amphora: a tool for our Trebbiano
Monday, January 4, 2021
Enologist Francesco Bartoletti explains the vinification of Trebbiano in amphora
Terracotta amphorae for the vinification of Trebbiano Toscano
The use of terracotta has an ancient connection to wine. At the time of Greeks and Romans, amphorae were commonly used to deliver wine by sea to every corner of their Empire.
Terracotta is a unique material with outstanding characteristics for wine conservation and doesn't interfere with the sensory characteristics of the vines that make the wine, like for instance Trebbiano.
Wood has replaced terracotta now because of its great qualities, it's handy and lightweighted. However, wood containers such as casks and barriques are aromatically active. They release ellagic tannins and aromas derived from their toasting.
After wine ages in wood it becomes more complex, often it gets better, but it will not be only wine. It will become wine & wood. From this marriage the most famous wines of the world were born. No doubt wood is an excellent companion of wine.
Valuation of Tuscan Trebbiano in amphora
In the process of valuation of our Trebbiano Toscano we focus on maintaining the pure organoleptic characteristics of the vines, while maintaining a natural evolution of the wine.
Here the amphora comes into play. Terracotta guarantees an excellent thermal insulation which means the best conditions for the refinement of the wine. It also allows a slow and progressive oxygenation with no alteration of the peculiarities of Trebbiano.
The alcoholic fermentation and the maceration of the skins take place in amphora for 40/50 days.
Thanks to the long maceration in amphora we can extract from the skins all the vitality of Trebbiano as well as part of tannins. They are very precious for the refinement process in presence of oxygenation.
This is the main aspect of the aging process in terracotta - maturation and oxygenation of the wine without any transfer due to the container. In other words, pure varietal expression of the vine and of the wine.
We use amphora to enhance the expression of Trebbiano Toscano that Assentada grants in your glass.
Francesco Bartoletti (enologist)