Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.

Promotional feature

Find out how Uco Valley’s Luna Austral is bringing biodynamic natural wine production up to date, with tips from award-winning winemaker Alvaro Espinoza…

How to grow biodynamically...

The post Biodynamic Argentina: Luna Austral is a force of nature appeared first on Decanter.


Promotional feature

Find out how Uco Valley’s Luna Austral is bringing biodynamic natural wine production up to date, with tips from award-winning winemaker Alvaro Espinoza…

How to grow biodynamically...

The post Biodynamic Argentina: Luna Austral is a force of nature appeared first on Decanter.

Promotional feature

Find out how Uco Valley’s Luna Austral is bringing biodynamic natural wine production up to date, with tips from award-winning winemaker Alvaro Espinoza…

Biodynamic Argentina: Luna Austral is a force of nature

Promotional feature

Biodynamic wine pioneers in Uco Valley

Follow the Tunuyán river through the Andes, down the Uco Valley to the little town of La Consulta, and you’ll find a pioneer in biodynamic viticulture making its mark.

Luna Austral is currently a producer of high end wines, and the only Argentinean winery full Demeter certified, this means that all its process, vineyards and all its wines have got this certification, and they are leading the way for the region’s biodynamic wine scene.

But the biodynamic approach is not a new path for Luna Austral; it’s the founding philosophy. Since its inception in 2008, agronomist Mario Toso and his team have championed the use of biodynamic practices, to harness the power of a challenging terroir and drive that life force into their wines.

Irrigation in the vineyard

Bringing biodynamic up to date

Toso has adapted the original biodynamic standards set out by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s, and brought them up to date in his 20 hectares of high altitude vineyards. The results are vibrant and distinctive wines, free from chemicals, with each vintage bringing a unique expression of the year it was made.

Luna Austral operates on the ethos, ‘nature is our director, and we are its most devoted performers’, striving for a harmony that’s reflected in the very architecture of their winery — built as a yin and yang symbol.

Their current wines include a single varietal Malbec, and a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec — named Sintonia, or ‘Tuning’, relating to winemaking in harmony with nature.

The composer of this harmony is Alvaro Espinoza, Luna Austral’s winemaker and close friend of Toso. The duo have been working together for over a decade, united in their belief in sustainable and biodynamic enology.

Mario Toso (Agronomist) and Álvaro Espinosa (winemaker) tasting grapes before harvest

How to grow biodynamically — Top five tips from the winemaker

Espinoza comes from a family of winemakers, but he cut his teeth in Chile before moving on to Bordeaux, where he earned his National Diploma of Enology. In 2015 he was recognised by Decanter as one of the top 50 most influential winemakers in the world.

Find a unique microclimate

La Consulta is 900 metres above sea level and enjoys a microclimate of hot days with intense sun exposure followed by cool dry nights — creating wines with vibrant fruit, supple tannins and good acidic structure, requiring minimal intervention.

Respond to nature

Each year is different, so it’s important to adapt our winemaking in response to the unique climate and conditions. We monitor soil of the vineyard throughout the year and add homeopathic preparations like camomile and silica, to activate the soil and create dynamic wines.

Unite plant and animal kingdoms

Biodynamic standards prohibit synthetic fertilisers, so the key is in our compost. We blend animal manure and plant matter from our farming community to create a rich all-natural mix of microorganisms and bacteria. These generate nutrients that work with biodynamic ingredients to enliven the minerality of the alluvial and calcareous soil of La Consulta.

Hand selection

Due to the microclimate, harvesting takes place very early in the morning when temperatures are low. The clusters are brought straight to the winery, where the team carefully selects the best berries by hand to ensure quality and freshness.

Minimal intervention in the winery

The winery is designed to allow for minimal intervention is the winemaking processes. It’s powered by gravity, meaning that following hand selection the berries move through through the winery with minimal interference. Concrete eggs are used to create purely terroir and fruit driven wines.


This content has been provided by Luna Austral, as part of a sponsored campaign on Decanter.com with Wines of Argentina.


More from Wines of Argentina:

The post Biodynamic Argentina: Luna Austral is a force of nature appeared first on Decanter.


Read full article on decanter.com


Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.