Harvesting & winemaking
PRECISION HARVESTING AND CUTTING-EDGE WINEMAKING
Optimal harvesting dates
Choosing the optimal harvesting dates is one of the crucial tasks for Jumilla vignerons. Monastrell’s thick skins and long vine cycle mean that picking early can produce under-ripe wines with vegetal notes. On the other hand, harvesting late can result in over-ripeness and loss of freshness of flavour.
But thanks to the cool autumn nights and warm sunny days enjoyed at Jumilla’s altitudes during the ripening period, a window of optimal ripeness occurs, providing conditions for excellent phenolic ripeness and preservation of acidity. Since, most Jumilla vineyards are planted with low bush vines, the grapes are harvested by hand in small crates and carefully conveyed to the cellars to be sorted, de-stemmed, crushed and fermented.
While Jumilla’s vineyards are still worked in the time-honoured traditional manner, cutting- edge winemaking techniques and technology are the order of the day in the cellars. Temperature-controlled stainless steel, concrete and oak vats are used for the fermentation process depending on the philosophy and preference of each winery. As new wineries are being built and the older ones being renovated, gravity-flow handling of the fruit and pre- fermentation cold soaks are ever more commonly practised to bring out maximum fresh fruit expression, while careful, gentle extractions are performed to ensure only the finest tannins are transferred into the wines.
Diverse ageing processes
High quality French and American oak is used for the ageing process. Whereas some wineries opt for 225-litre barriques, a number of producers prefer ageing their wines in larger capacity casks, such as foudres. Alternatively, a small but growing number of winemakers are using amphoras, concrete egg vats or even demijohns. Importantly, however a large proportion of red wine is bottled unoaked in order to showcase Jumilla’s stunningly vibrant, fresh red berry fruit flavours.