Approximately 8.5% of production in Provence is reserved for red wines each year, representing nearly 14 million bottles.
From Harvest to Cellar
As soon as the harvest arrives from the vineyards, the winemakers select the appropriate production method. For red wines, if they prefer stripping and crushing the grapes, traditional vatting (long or short) is usually the choice. If they decide to work with full bunches of grapes, then carbonic maceration is performed.
This is the step where the colour, structure and aromas are extracted for red wines. During this step, the harvest will undergo fermentation and reach temperatures of nearly 30°C. At this point, the winemakers will opt for either a long or short vatting period, depending on the characteristics of the grape varieties and the type of wine they hope to produce. A short vatting period will produce wines that are young and fresh, whereas longer vatting makes it possible to extract colour, tannins and aromas to produce more structured, deeply coloured wines that are better suited for ageing.
Separation of Liquids & Solids
The liquid is drawn from the vat as free-run wine. The solid portion of the harvest is pressed as pressed wine. Tasting is then performed to decide what proportion of each grape variety should appear in the final blend. When carbonic maceration is performed, the free-run juices may be added to the pressed wine juices, which are more aromatic.
Maturation & Ageing
As it matures, the red wine completes its malolactic fermentation. It is through this maturation process that the wine acquires its own distinct personality. The wine can be matured in stainless steel vats or in wooden barrels of various sizes.