The Artizani wines are made without technological advancements, the only interventions on the part of the winemaker are: setting harvest dates, deciding on maceration * duration, agreeing on the proportion of the skin and stems, participation of lees in the winemaking process and selecting the theorem method.
The winemakers have chosen to macerate this Saperavi wine for only 7 days, for several reasons essential to their winemaking philosophy:
• First, the amount of anthocyanin extraction is highest after 6-7 days of maceration, then the amount starts to decrease when the stems start to absorb it. Thus, the 7-day process is optimal to extract the necessary compounds for color stabilization and achieve desired properties;
• Moreover, since Artizani winemakers do not add sulphites to their wines, they are not supposed to live to be 10-15 years old. That is why we limit the amount of tannins that end up in the wine by means of 7 days of maceration: in this way our wines are beautiful on drunks the following year.
• In addition, the presence of hides and stems creates a “wine cap” which increases the fermentation temperature over time. However, by storing it after 7 days, they allow the rest of the alcoholic fermentation to continue at a cooler temperature, preserving more aromas and giving the wine a more fruity profile.
The malolactic fermentation is also done wild. Usually in the spring. The winemakers measure the malic acid and lactic acid content to find out when the fermentation process is complete and distribute the wines accordingly. The temperature in their basement is around 20-22C during this period.
For winemaking, they only use stainless steel vessels.
Khashmi, where our grapes come from, is located at an altitude of 750 meters (one of the highest locations for the Saperavi grapes) in the westernmost part of the Kakheti region. This region is known for its cool climate. The harvest in Khashmi starts in October (generally the harvest period of Saperavi in Kakheti is in September). This results in grapes that are fresher in acidity and have a much more fertile profile.
* = Maceration refers to how long the grape skins touch the juice, so its duration may not necessarily be equal to the duration of the fermentation process. The maceration method is purely dependent on the winemaking style, the grapes, the season, etc., e.g. wine can begin and end with alcoholic fermentation without any maceration, if a winemaker decides to do so.