04 Apr Cantina Tuscania, laboratory of ideas.
Born in 2008 as an experimental winery, Cantina Tuscania srl has grown to become a place where research and production meet each other, a laboratory of ideas for oenologists, agronomists, producers and scientists who want to test techniques and raw materials in the best conditions, as well as to develop new products.
The Cantina today represents a complete restyling in its services and management, carrying out as part of its experimental project activities on a scale of micro-vinification (with tanks of 50 to 100 litres in thermo-conditioned cells) and meso-vinification (10 hl) plus customer vinification services.
The so-called custom crushing structures, where the clients are offered personalized vinification service for their grapes are diffused throughout the new world (the USA, New Zealand, Australia), and Cantina Tuscania is likely representing the first such Italian example.
“There are clients,” explained Barbara Tassini, oenological manager of the Cantina in an article published several months ago in the monthly italian magazine Vigne e Vini “for whom we operate as incubators and who wish to test the oenological potential of their grapes and the market of their new wines before undertaking an important investment such as that required for the construction of a new cellar. Others wish to add new varieties and new wines to the regular offerings already produced in their cellars. Finally, there have been cases of producers who, despite having their own winery, have asked us to fine-tune a protocol or to test various options with new quality objectives.”
76 tanks of 10 hectolitres fully equipped for the vinification and conservation of the wines, fitted out with two autonomous lines for heating and cooling, are managed by the integrated management system SAEn5000 of Parsec for control of the temperature, pumpover programs, micro-oxygenation and, more recently, the dynamic control of fermentation ACDF . The vats are designed to guarantee vinification with the utmost respect for the raw materials: a track allows for filling from the top of each single tank, whilst the drawing off occurs without the use of mechanical pumps directly in the drum of the press.
The tanks for the vinification of red grapes are heated by a plate positioned at the bottom and cooled by a lateral band. Temperature control and the management of the valves for the opening and closing of the hot and cold circuits occurs thanks to the measurements effectuated by two probes, one placed under the cap of the marc and one in the liquid phase of the must in fermentation.
The registration with the SAEn5000 software of all data relative to the ongoings of the fermentation, the temperature profiles and all the operations performed on the individual vats has allowed the Cantina to develop Certified Vinification, part of its offerings since the 2015 harvest, in which clients of the service may verify step-by-step all the historical information on the fermentation of their own wine and have complete traceability of their product.
Experiments on micro-oxygenation
Cantina Tuscania was the setting of a major research project on micro-oxygenation, in which the technique of aging, applied with three different dosages of oxygen on a Sangiovese and studied for its interactions with the level of iron in the wines, was examined by the research team of Fulvio Mattivi of the Fondazione Edmund Mach with new methods of the metabolomic approach.
For those wanting further information, the results are available on the website www.ricercatuscania.it.
The study was the first in an enological environment to be published in the prestigious scientific journal, Plos One.