The wine ages in French and American oak barrels settled in a calcareous rock grave, with ideal temperature, humidity and light. Once bolted, the wine ages also in proper conditions to achieve high quality wines.
The vat as HACCP (Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Point) process implemented.
A model vat room
An old block stoned vat room, in the center of the vineyard, built by Viscount de Chanceleiros back to the 19th century was fully recovered to include the most up-to-date wine technologies. Once harvested, it takes only a few minutes do the grape to get into a refrigerated vat, to insure it keeps all its qualities.
The first floor vat room allows the grapes to go into the fermentation vats by natural gravity flow, without the use of pressure or pumping. Vat hatches are located directly under the sorting tables on the first floor. The grapes thus fall down straight into the vats by simple gravity. Combined with the exclusive use of indigenous yeast, this makes for slow fermentation. Extraction takes place gently over a long time to bring out the best quality tannin. All wine made Quinta do Convento is now fermented in these two vat rooms.
Different equipments are proposed taking in, top-opened vats, closed vats, wood vats and rotative vats, consideration grape variety but they are all fully temperature controlled and able to be either cooled down or warmed up very efficiently. This vat room is both resolutely modern and in keeping with the winegrowing tradition.
By facilitating the fermentation of small lots, this new organization makes it easier to select and fine tune the final blend. Grapes from each plot (or part of a plot) are kept separate. This is done out of deference to the terroir and respect for the fruit, which are the two bywords for making fine wine, obtaining a truly a tailor-made wine.
Fermentation generally lasts about four weeks, but varies according to grape variety, vineyard plot, and the degree of ripeness. The wine is run off directly into barrels (French allier oak (80%) and American oak (20%) , where it ages for six to twenty months, depending on the vintage. The proportion of new barrels is never greater than two thirds. Afterwards the wine ages in the bottle.