Once the carts arrive at the cellar, a new work phase begins. The crates are unloaded one at a time. The brunches are grouped together, while the grapes are separated from their stalks. The grapes themselves and any pulp that may have been crushed are gathered up with the skins and grape seeds and then immersed into presses which softly separate the must from grape cakes and seeds.
70% of the grapes' weight becomes must; the most refined must, called 'mosto fiore', is only produced with the heart of the grape. It is this must that will either be employed during the sparkling process or used to make quality still wine. When the frenetic work that follows harvesting is finished, Prosecco's top-notch must rests in large stainless steel tanks and is conserved at very low temperatures ranging from 5 degrees C to 10 degrees C. It takes 10/12 hours for impurities in the must to settle on the bottom of the vat, leaving the remaining mass limpid. The purified part is then suctioned, by vents placed at variable heights from the bottom, and left to ferment in new, especially equipped stainless steel tanks.
In the tanks, natural fermenting agents are added to the must and it slowly becomes wine. As they are attacked by live ferments, its sugars are transformed into alcohol and carbon dioxide. It's a long, delicate process that's controlled by intelligent sensors which instantly transmit data to the cellar's centralized computer.
Each vat contains must made from grapes coming from the same vineyard; thus, at the end of the fermentation process, each batch has the same evident characteristics, giving enologists the purity of scents and aromas.
The Prosecco has begun its 'life journey', yet it is not yet ready: it needs time to mature and more fully express its bouquet.
At one time, experts waited until late autumn and the beginning of winter, hoping for constant, low external temperatures which favor the natural precipitation of residue impurities. Today, thermal-conditioned facilities allow experts to control the correct maturation process avoiding damage. Towards the end of the year, Prosecco wine finally turns limpid and is ready for bottling; otherwise, it can be preserved and sent to the sparkling process.