Since the beginning of our history, the winery has been located in Martina Franca, a beautiful, baroque town in the center of Puglia.
In the last hundred years, a lot has changed outside the vineyard with the town growing around us. Changes within the vineyard were happening as well. Continuous improvements in techniques and technology were happening, without forgetting how we started.
We started to bottle our wines in 1960 when in Puglia still every family was making his own wines at home. It was a risky bet at the time, but it was a winning one. In the late '60ies, Mario Soldati, the forerunner of all the wine critics, dedicated a few pages to us in his book "vino al vino" , because we were among the first in our region to try to change the wine business and make wines able to go above and beyond local, everyday consumption.
Another little revolution happened in the '80ies when we start to produce natural sparkling wines. Once again, at the time, no winery in the region had the know-how to do it.
Martino Miali (left) with Mario Soldati on the piazzale of the winery (late '60ies)
the winery in the early '20ies
After harvesting the grapes, the stems are removed, and the grapes are crushed in soft presses for 5-7 hours. The soft presses (see image above) gently squeezes the juice out limiting the stress for the grapes and the breakage of residual seeds.
After the juice is extracted, the juice from white grapes go in our underground vats for the fermentation. The juice from red grapes goes in the stainless steel fermenters, where the maceration will take place.
FERMENTATION AND MACERATION
Fermentation and Maceration are crucial operations. During these two phases of winemaking, a small mistake can be catastrophic and destroy all the efforts and good work done in the vineyard.
That's why we invested in a temperature controlled system that include almost every vat (both underground cement vats and above ground stainless steel containers. the temperature is constantly under control. Letting the fermentation and maceration happen in an controlled environment, means also a limited use of sulfites during these operations.
there are different operations for different wines.
White wines: fermentation without skin contact (for some of our white wines, we do a pre-fermentative maceration).
Rose' wines: fermentation with a very short maceration of a few hours.
Red wines: fermentation with a maceration time that can vary from 7 to 14 days.
Sparkling: Fermentation in stainless steel sealed containers, so the CO2 created during the fermentation can bond with the wine (natural sparkling).
AGEING and REFINING
After the wine is made it needs to rest. sometimes for a few months, sometimes for many years.
we age our wines in containers of three different materials: cement, stainless steel and wood.
Stainless steel: is a "neutral" material. a wine that spend time in a stainless steel container don't chance its composition.
Cement: our vetrified cement vats are underground. in a underground vat the temperature is easier to control beacuse of the natural insulation of the stones.
Wood: depending on the size, kind of wood, toasting level of the barrel the effects on the wine can be really diffferent. the most important result of ageing in oak (and probably the one that most of the consumers are not aware of) is the natural micro-oxigenation that the air, slowly cause, passing through the wood and that helps the wine to age better during the years.
Our red wines are usually released after at least 2-3 years of ageing in one of the containers mentioned above. The reason is that the longer a wine rests in the winery the less filtration and other manipulations are needed before it is bottled and ready to be sipped.