The road to Palazzone: arrivano i botti!

by Laura Gray on October 3, 2011

I’d like to think that visitors to Il Palazzone never forget our wines but the reality is that few people who drive to the property ever forget the rollercoaster white-knuckle ride that it takes to get to us. We may only be a kilometre from the centre of town, but it is 900 metres of steep, dusty, pot-holed road, with a drybrick wall on one side and a ravine on the other.

In anticipation of the building work for our new cellar we widened the road where possible and removed the blind-corner-on-a-hill so beloved by our guests.

This said, it was some job getting the 9 metres of roof-beams on site, not to mention the recent delivery of three 5.000 litre wood fermentation tanks.

From 2011 vintage onwards we will be fermenting in these beautiful oaken barrels instead of in stainless steel. The tannins in the oak are an anti-oxidant. This, combined with the micro-oxigenation permitted by the wood, gives wines that are more “limpido” with increased stability of aromatics and tannins.

The tanks weigh in at around 1000 kg each so navigating them up our hill and around the bends was quite something, not to mention squeezing them into our temporary cellar space. In order to get them functional we need to fill them up with water for 48 hours to see if they leak.

As I write in my tasting room, the heady slightly-sickening aroma of fermentation is wafting through the building. The sounds of swearing shouting men have finally abated and the barrels are in place, ready for harvest and fermentation next week.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

@DomaineSelect October 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

That slightly sickening aroma of fermentation will develop into a beautifully intoxicating aroma in just a couple of year's time. Congrats and cheers to another successful harvest!


Admin October 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Thanks very much. We started and finished the last day of picking on 4th October and I can now say, with everything safe in the cellar, that we are really pleased with 2011 harvest. We were amongst the very last to pick – and it was a risk – but it seems from the first analysis of the must – to have paid off. Grazie!


Charles Modica October 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Congrats on getting everything situated, and getting the harvest in. I remember you very clearly telling Cathy and I on Sept 20th when we visited that you would have been harvesting, but your husband wanted to wait. I guess trusting Marco was correct :)

And the road, at least as it to me, wasn't bad at all. But Cathy probably has a different take — as a passenger she never likes being on the "dangerous" side , i.e. drop off on her side of the road.


Donna October 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I remember that road well, especially when Fabio reversed into the wall! Looking forward to driving along it again. Congratulations on your harvest and for completing the new cellar: no mean feat!


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