The Art of Winemaking
The gift, the craftsmanship, the care and innovation are just four of the elements that reward the expectation of those who know and truly appreciate quality wine.
The Vine School
In the nursery that represents the first private vineyard school in Romania, with the highest capacity of vines grafted annually (5 million) from both local and international varieties, intended for the production of high quality wines, Jidvei uses planting material mostly from its own plantations that provide grafted buds and certified organic rootstocks.
„The implementation of the latest technologies for the production of viticultural planting material is meant to lead to the improvement of the production quality and the elimination of the negative influence of some natural environmental factors”, said Dr. Dan Corbean, director of the vine school.
Setting up a vineyard is a work that requires meticulousness and extends over several years. First, based on complex studies, the location must be established, the place is then cleaned, fertilized and prepared for planting vines. Then, the best quality planting material is chosen, obtained within the own vine school.
The vineyards of the Jidvei company (aged between 4 and 20 years), are impressive in size and in the way they are arranged and cared for.
Each year, the main objective in terms of quality management is to obtain quality grape productions, achieved by applying a high-performance technology, with the support of a professional, competent team.
The major objective is to optimize technologies through scientific substantiation in order to ensure sustainability.
Determining the best time to harvest is done according to the variety and degree of ripeness of the grains, aiming to achieve the optimal balance between the level of acidity, sugars and flavors.
Depending on the variety and the direction of production, the harvesting method is determined to be manual or mechanized. Immediately after harvesting, within two hours, the grapes must reach the winery for processing. Prolonged contact of the grains with the bunches or vine leaves can affect the quality of the must.
The first winemaking operation is the destemming, that is the separation of the grains from the bunches. Once separated, the grains are lightly crushed to allow the must to separate. After that, depending on the variety, the mixture of grains and must, also known as “mustuială”, goes through different processes.
For non-flavored varieties, the must is obtained directly. It can be of the ravac type, obtained by gravity by the free flow of the juice from the grain, or must of the press, obtained by pressing.
For varieties that are flavored, the must reaches the wineries where it is subjected to a process of extraction of flavor and color compounds from the grain skin, a process called film maceration. After the pressing process, the must is obtained, either ravac or press. Once obtained, the must is clarified, an operation that is performed at low temperatures, for better settling.
As the temperature rises, the clear must enters the fermentation. This is done in fully automated tanks for process monitoring and management.
The fresh wine obtained from fermentation is separated from the yeast and prepared for maturation, during which it begins to take shape.
The maturation is carried out mainly in oak barrels, at temperatures of 9°–12° C. Depending on the variety, the type of wine (dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, sweet) and the size of the barrels, the maturation period varies between 3 months and 2 years.
After maturation, two other important stages follow: blending the wine from the same grape variety or from different varieties, depending on the desired assortment and protein, tartaric and microbiological stabilization of the wines.
Before bottling, the physico-chemical parameters of the wine are carefully monitored to ensure the best possible preservation of sensory properties and varietal character. Jidvei has four bottling lines, with a capacity of over 10,000 bottles per hour, provided with wine microfiltration installations.
In the bottling process, another very important aspect is the choice of the type of stopper.The use of corks or sugar cane polymers is one of the important measures of the company’s policy and concerns in the field of sustainability.
Depending on the range and variety, the corks are subjected, in advance, to laboratory tests, being accepted only those that do not generate wine defects, do not sensorially influence the intensity of varietal aromas and do not allow oxygen transfer.
Bottling of wine is strictly monitored, a special attention being given to bottling wine with a minimum oxygen content, to ensure a product with an optimal sensory structure, with a typical and authentic aromatic profile, but also with minimizing the doses of sulfites used.
The discovery that helped increase the prestige of wine was that, most of the time, wine can get better if it ages. Important in the aging process of bottled wine is the storage place, which must ensure an airy atmosphere, careful control of humidity, sheltered from light and protected from tremors, and which maintains a constant temperature of 9°-12° C. Jidvei’s collection wines increase their value every year, being carefully preserved in the wine cellar of Crama Blaj, but also in the cellars of the old castle in Cetatea de Baltă.
„It may seem like a technical and complicated description. But there are words that speak about the work of specialists in the field and, later, from the winery, about the constant care and attention to the small details that make the difference, about the passion of the people due to which it becomes possible the long and fascinating transformation of the grapes into wine”, declares Dr. ch. Ioan Buia, director of the winery complex.
The Joy of Wine
After a long period of preparation and a lot of work, the wine is ready to tell its story. Slipping lightly into glasses, it delights the senses and it rewards, through the satisfaction of those who enjoy it, the entire toil of the people who took care of its development.
Regardless of the occasion, all these have in common the preference for quality and for the perfect taste that we seek and that we strive to offer to each of our wines.