Harvest at Le Fonti is always done manually. The grapes are transported in small 15-20 kg cases to keep them in their best condition until arrival at the cellar. At the cellar the grapes are destemmed and another selection is made. The destemmed grapes are then pumped into small to medium stainless steel fermentation tanks for a cold soaking for 2-3 days before the fermentation starts. Whenever possible, the grapes start fermentation on their own with their own indigenous yeasts. Within the first 12-18 hours, the team bleed offs 10-15% of the juices from all Sangiovese and Merlot tanks, a process also called “Salasso”. The bled-off juice continues to ferment in a cold environment as a white wine would without any further skin contact. The outcome is a wonderful fresh and fruity Rosé. 3-4 times a day the still-fermenting must is pumped over the skins to extract all the colour pigments, tannins and aroma particles from the skins. After 25-30 days the first fermentation phase is finished and the finished wine is run off. The skins get lightly pressed and are brought for further processing to the distillery Nannoni where grappa is distilled.
Meanwhile the wines go through a secondary fermentation, also called malolactic fermentation, where malic acid is transformed into milk acid, helping the red wine to get softer tannins. This secondary fermentation is usually finished by December and by January Le Fonti can start making our blends and the wines are pumped into their various barrels for further aging.