Harvest

Harvest time is the defining moment in the winemaking process. Grapes are harvested during the cool morning hours and moved to the winery in open bins. At Kukeri Wines, all of the grapes are harvested by hand to ensure that only the best grapes arrive at the winery. To obtain rich and flavorful wines, the Cabernet Sauvingon is harvested at his optimal ripeness, based on the level of sugar (Brix), acid, pH, berry flavor, tanin and seed development and taste of the grapes. Soon is harvested the grapes is quickly brought to the winery.

Harvest

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De-stemming & Crushing

Grapes are transferred to a de-stemmer/crusher where the stems are removed and the grapes are crushed. The crushed grapes with the juice (“must”) are transferred into fermentation tank where will “cold soak” for few days, allowing better extraction. During the “cold soak”, which typically last for 2-3days at 9°C (48°F) we gently pump over the juice to allow extraction of more color and fruit flavor of the skins into juice. The “cold soak” helps to get a darker color and richer tannins into the finished wine.

De-stemming & Crushing

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Primary & Secondary Fermentation

After a cold soaking, the “must” is inoculated with yeast and fermentation begins. Durring fermentation the yeasts convert the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The produced CO2 pushes the grape skins into to the top of the tank, creating a “cap”. The cap is kept in contact with the juice by pumping over giving more color and flavors. Soon the main fermentation is done, we inoculate the wine with malolactic bacteria to encourage the secondary fermentation, which will convert the harsh malic acid into the softer lactic acid and make the wine more round and stable. This conversion will reduce the acidity and increase on the pH of the wine.

Fermentation

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Pressing & Racking

After the alcoholic fermentation is complete the wine is drained and pressed away from the skins into another tank for settling. After few days the settled wine is rack off from the heavier lees into the French oak barrels for aging. Racking is a process which separates the heavier solids (yeasts and tiny fruit pulp particles) that settles during aging from the clear wine. As the wines reside in the barrels, these heavier lees fall to the bottom. Occasionally, we modify the racking techniques to increase oxygen absorption (allow the wine to splash) or decrease oxygen absorption (“push” the wine from the barrels with inert gas).

Pressing & Racking

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Aging & Clarification

Aging allows the wine to evolve and develop, which effectively alters the flavor, aroma, and taste of the wine. The use of oak barrels in aging our wine helps define the style, balance, and complexity of Kukeri Cabernet Sauvignon. Typically, our wine requires a longer aging time, which varies between 24 to 36 months, in order to develop the more complex characteristics that are unique to the mountain Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. After the maturation is complete it’s time for the clarification and stabilization of the wine. These phases are meant to prepare the wine for its consumption by cleaning it and removing and solid particles or sediments left over.

Aging & Clarification

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Bottling & Storing

Soon the wine is clarified; it’s time to be transferred into a bottle, typically we use a 750mL glass bottle. The wine gets bottled to be protecting it from oxidation, light, and other environmentally detrimental conditions. Storing and bottle aging wine properly is important in order to uphold its taste and essence. Bottle aging permits more maturation of the wine and for the oak barrel’s flavors and the natural fruit flavors to mix and settle. Bottle aging also slowly allows for more controlled oxidization, enhancing the wine.

Bottling & Storing

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