Our grandparents would use the attics. A few years ago, we converted a hut opposite the manor house and outfitted it for the maturation and ageing of Vin Santo in wooden kegs.
The grapes used for the production of Vin Santo del Chianti (Trebbiano, Malvasia bianca, Colorino, San Colombano ecc…) are collected in small crates and transferred to a room to dry for a few months.
In December, the grapes are pressed and the thick juice is transferred into kegs to start a very slow and incomplete fermentation.
To start the proper aromatic-oxidative process, in addition to the juice the kegs also contain a small amount of lees (called mother) from the harvest of the previous years.
During the long period of maturation and ageing that follows, the wood yields perfumes and precious substances. According to the Vin Santo del Chianti production regulations, this period has to last no less than 4 years.
The preparation of Vin Santo involves a very slow, artisan process that requires age-old skills.
Just to give an idea, 100 kilos of fresh grapes produce up to 3 litres of Vin Santo at the very most!
This is why Vin Santo can be described as a precious nectar reserved for special guests.