The philosophy of the cellar is to produce very high quality wines from grapes grown in the surrounding vineyards, with a balanced composition, harvested by hand at the optimum moment of ripeness and with the capacity of aging both in the barrel and the bottle. As for the design of the wines, we aim to create wines which respect the individuality of the grape varieties and the expression of the terroir in each of our wines.
The grapes are hand harvested at their optimum ripeness. Forty women are responsible for cutting the bunches and placing them in small boxes of around 15kg. These boxes are then collected from the vineyard and on top of a platform pulled by a tractor they reach the northern corner of the winery where they are unloaded onto a sorting table. Then the grapes are destemmed and crushed moving on quickly into the tank-room where the natural fermentation of the must begins.
Vallegarcía is, probably, one of the best equipped and most modern wineries in Spain. The fermentation area has 24 tanks, all them stainless-steel and double jacketed for temperature control during the fermentation process, and also a top of the range pneumatic press. The crushed grapes bursting with must enter the steel tanks where they are chilled to 8ºC and remain there for a certain time, between 72 and 96 hours, this is called pre-fermentation cold maceration and during this process the fresh fruit aromas are extracted from the grapes. Afterwards the fermentation begins and over a period of 21 days the must slowly turns into wine and, by pumping juice over the fermentation cap, more aromas, more colour and the structure that the polyphenols in the grape skins give to the wine are extracted. At the end of the fermentation process the pomace is pressed and the wine is put into barrels.
In our ageing room where the barrels are kept at a constant temperature of 15ºC and relative humidity of 80% throughout the year, the wines firstly undergo a malolactic fermentation (the natural biological process of reduction of acidity) after which they remain still for a period of 12 ? 20 months depending on the variety and the characteristics of the vintage. It is during this period of ageing in the French oak barrel that the wines fill out, the tannins become smoother and the colour establishes itself. The cellar has 1,000 barrels, all of them made from French oak.
Strict analytical control is carried out during all the processes mentioned. We use our own laboratory and employ highly qualified staff to analyse the developement of our wines, from the composition of the grape during its ripening in the vineyard to the bottling process. The organoleptic analysis through the tasting of grapes, must and wine -at its different stages of aging- are as important as those carried out to determine chemical composition.
Bottling a wine is the most important decision faced by the team of winemakers at Vallegarcía. This final decision represents all the work done in that vintage, from the sprouting of the vine onwards. The care of the crop, the harvest, the selection of the barrels…., bottling a wine is, therefore, not just filling a bottle with wine but it represents the character and personality of Vallegarcía. All our wines have natural cork stoppers made from cork oak both from our own region and also from Extremadura and Portugal. We use natural cork because we believe that it is the form of closure that is most natural, most organic and that it also helps the sustainability of the cork oak forests across the Southwest of the Iberian Peninsula.
Once the wine has been bottled, it stays in a room that we called the ?wine rack room? where the temperature and humidity remain constant. During this time, the wine matures and begins its fine tunning which will continue over the years, given that Vallegarcía wines are characterized by their great ability for aging, thus improving their qualities with the passing of time.
The wines after a year in the wine rack room are labeled, this is what is called dressing the bottle. Label, capsule and back label are placed on the bottles and then they are packed into cases of 6. Once packaged, the wines remain in our air-conditioned warehouse until they are needed by our clients all over the world.