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The Winemaking Process

The Grapes
Coturri Winery never uses grapes that have been treated with pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. The Coturri Winery Estate Vineyards are certified by the CCOF. No SO2-no inoculation with sulfites, yeast cultures, no use of concentrates to boost sweetness, no added water, acids, or other manipulation of the wine.

The Crusher/Destemmer
Coturri's stemmer-crusher is carefully designed to slowly crush the grapes, avoid cutting stems, crushing seeds, or macerating the grapes while it destems and breaks the skins. The resulting "must" gravitates into an open fermentation tank.

Natural Fermentation
The "must" goes into classic, open fermentation tanks which are instantly covered with clean white sheets. The caps (floating grape skins) are pushed periodically by hand. The 1 ton straight-sided redwood tanks will ferment for a week to ten days. At Coturri Winery we use the natural yeast's living on the grape skins to turn the sugars into CO2 and alcohol.

Traditional Basket Press
Two fermentation tanks of "must" are bucketed out by hand into a traditional basket press and the new wine runs freely out directly to the barrel. The remaining "must" is then lightly pressed out, producing approximately 150 gallons of wine. The left over grape skins or "pomace" is then composted back to the vineyard. A traditional basket press does not have any of the bitter qualities of a horizontally hard-pressed wine.

French Oak Barrel Cooperage
Coturri wines will age in reconditioned 60 gallon French Oak barrels for 12 to 24 months. During this time, the wines will be moved from barrel to barrel, a process called "racking" that adds air to the wine, separates out sediment and clarifies it. Constant evaporation necessitates that the barrels be topped with wine from the same batches.

Hand Bottling
Coturri wines are truly handcrafted - bottled by hand, hand corked, and labeled by hand. The wine will age again in the bottle for several months before it is shipped out to the consumer. Around 5,000 cases a year are produced at the Coturri Winery. The wines are not filtered or fined and we recommend decanting to avoid sediment.

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