Produce wine of great character
The harvested grapes, once debunched, go through the optical selection machine where the grapes must meet the preset criteria to pass through: any small, green or squished grapes and all debris are ejected and only the ripe whole grapes make it into the vats. The vats are cooled to 5C-10C (41F - 50F) and the grapes are added whole to each tank for a cold soak before natural selected yeast strains are added to initiate fermentation.
Vinification at Tolaini is done in 26 stainless steel temperature-controlled tanks with a two chamber system. Fermentations run approximately 7 to 10 days at a maximum temperature of 28C-30C (82F - 86F). To extract further flavor and structure, wine and grape solids macerate for an additional 10-15 days before the wine is racked to barrel to complete malolactic fermentation. All primary fermentations undergo manual punch-downs to extract skins and pips without extracting unwanted bitterness. The two-chamber configuration allows for gentle gravity- flow rack- and -return that optimizes color and flavor extraction. The best grapes from each harvest are fermented in open-top fermenters made of French Allier oak (12 units of 4500 liter capacity), a time-proven touch that increases the complexity in the wines. The generous array of tank sizes allows for individual parcels of grapes to be fermented and stored separately. These batches are kept apart through subsequent barrel aging in new French oak before blending.