Prosecco grapes are harvested early to maintain high acid levels. Grapes destined for sparkling wine production are hand-harvested at higher yields with great care. The press house is located near the vineyard in order to keep the must at the appropriate temperature.
Before proceeding with primary fermentation, FOLLADOR uses cryomaceration to ensure the highest quality sparkling wine base.
The primary fermentation begins by adding select varietal yeasts. This first fermentation is quick (max 8-10 days), at 18° in order to maintain the fruitiness of the grapes. The Prosecco can then be blended with other grape varieties like “Perera”, “Bianchetta” and “Verdiso”. These varieties provide the right balance, making excellent “Cuvée” as well as a perfect base for Prosecco sparkling wine.
Note: One of the by products of fermentation is the creation of carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide comes from the transformation of sugar into alcohol through the addition of selected yeasts. Once the yeasts are added, the must undergoes further slow fermentation in autoclaves (see Charmat Method.)
It is the secondary fermentation that produces sparkling wine and gives it the characteristic “bubbles”. There are a number of methods used to carry out this secondary fermentation. The most well known is the “Traditional” or “Champagne method” where the base cuvee is bottled with a mixture of sugar and yeast. The later introduction of a fresh yeast and food source (the sugar) triggers the secondary fermentation within the bottle.
Through the process of riddling and eventually disgorgement, the dead yeast cells (lees) are removed from the wine while still maintaining the dissolved carbon dioxide gas. A dosage mixture of fresh wine and some sugar syrup is used to adjust sweetness levels after it has been disgorged.