I produce on average 15,000 bottles a year, but I drastically reduce this number if the vintage is not up to scratch due to bad weather.
27 out of 30 vintages have been excellent: this is a record. The best one was the historic 1979 vintage.
In any case, wine is always subjective: the same bottle may be worth 500 euros for one person and not even 1 euro for another.
Soldera only uses grapes from the winery’s vineyards: 100% Sangiovese variety, skilfully selected by hand, right down to each berry, to get only the best out of the territory.
Fermentation is completely natural: it takes place in large Slavonian oak barrels, thanks to native microorganisms which develop spontaneously in situ, and without using artificial yeasts.
Fermentation essentially happens spontaneously in its ideal environment. The processes, which can sometimes be unpredictable, are precisely monitored, but also checked using experience that comes with decades of observation.
The contribution of science to natural winemaking
One of Soldera’s scientific partners is the University of Florence, where microbiological analysis is carried out on fermenting musts and this supports a more important analysis: the subjective one, from tasting.
The must temperature is measured every 10 minutes, thanks to sensors that can remotely transmit data.
The analysis of this data enables us to follow the winemaking step by step and to establish how and when to carry out manual pumping over.
Science and technology play a fundamental role in the production of a great quality wine, but without altering the natural winemaking processes.
The Soldera cellar: “The Wine Grotto”
The cellar at Case Basse is located 14 m underground and was built using only natural materials and carefully avoiding concrete. The Soldera cellar is a place made for wine: “a belly destined to house and protect something precious” to use Gianfranco Soldera’s own words.
Here the temperature is kept constant, about 13°, with 85% humidity which doesn’t stagnate due to natural air circulation: these are ideal conditions for ageing a great wine.
The cellar was created by the architect Stefano Lambardi, based on Gianfranco Soldera’s design, and is built on three levels: a service area where the grapes are destemmed at harvest time and where the bottles are labelled and stored before sale. Then there is the winemaking area, containing the large oak barrels, and lastly the heart of the cellar, where the wine matures and ages for long periods in large Slavonian oak barrels.
During ageing the wine is regularly tasted and analysed for chemical, physical and microbiological parameters. It is only thanks to this continual monitoring of the natural wine ageing processes that we can establish the right time for racking, which is the only operation done at this stage.
At Case Basse bottling is done directly in the cellar so that the wine doesn’t suffer the shock of being moved or a change in humidity and temperature. The wine is a “living substance” and is strongly affected by its surroundings and by any movement it is subjected to.
Possible shocks don’t just come from the surroundings, but also materials the wine comes into contact with. This is why the bottling machine is in the cellar, where the bottles remain empty for a long time before being filled.
Then the bottled wine rests in the cellar for a few months, before the bottles are labelled, packed and shipped.
Soldera wine is only sold, at the end of this long and rigorous process, if it reaches a quality level that meets the winery’s expectations.
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