Our production philosophy revolves around Ornellaia’s obsession with excellence – at all levels. Every choice we make is of absolute importance and implies an all-consuming attention to detail. At no point in the production process are shortcuts allowed or tolerated, and this is how we succeed harvesting grapes that are of the very highest quality irrespective of the climatic conditions in that particular year. During the harvest period analysis and empiric testing enables us to determine which grapes to pick and in which order. The tasting of the grapes allows us to better ascertain the ripeness of the tannins and the balance within the bunches in order to establish the optimum harvest time and the vinification technique for the grapes from each parcel of land. We then subject each and every grape to a double selection process. On the first table the quality of the bunches is checked, while during a second control every single piece of vegetation is removed. The grapes from each vineyard ferment separately in individual tanks, in this way each individual base wine (of which there are more than 60) contributes its own character to creation of the final blend according to the specific conditions of the vineyard area from which it comes : a combination of soil type, climatic exposition, grape variety, … Only after a period of 12 months of ageing in French oak barrels will the base wines be selected and blended according to 2 principal criteria : the elegant expression required by Ornellaia and the character of vintage itself. From its position on the hillside close to Bolgheri, The Ornellaia estate lies hidden in the foothills around Bolgheri that face the Mediterranean coast. The cool maritime breeze caresses this exceptional Estate and its surrounding olive groves throughout the summer months. During the winter the hills give protection from the cold northern winds. Ornellaia believes that wines should be the truest expression of the terroir from which they come. The diverse nature of the Estate’s soils – marine, alluvial and volcanic – coupled with this maritime climate create an environment in which red and white varietals can express themselves to the full. This myriad of individual parcels of vines fit into this unspoilt landscape like a mosaic, creating a unique expression of beauty and complexity in an exceptional place. While experience, skill and determination have all played their part in enhancing the quality and reputation of Ornellaia, it is the Estate itself that is continual source of inspiration, suggesting unique and exciting ways to capture its natural generosity. Each vineyard is approached as a single individual while every grape is subject to a double selection to ascertain the quality of the bunches and remove every single piece of vegetation. The cellar is the continuation of the vineyard. Here as well each vineyard is treated as an individual, vinified separately, with the objective to express the specific character of its parcel. Again the palate is our main tool, the daily tasting of the fermenting wines allow us to adapt extraction and maceration time to each of the 70 to 80 base wines, that will mature separately in small French oak barrels, before being selected and blended to achieve a subtle balance: expressing the specific character of the vintage while keeping Ornellaia’s voluptuous elegance.
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