The underground winery, located under the vines, makes use of cutting edge winemaking techniques. The harvested grapes are pre-selected based on terroir and variety and within minutes arrive at the cellar where they macerate for 24 hours at a low temperature.
The architecture of this underground winemaking "cathedral" allows the red grapes to travel into the cooled cone-shaped presses through gravity flow, without pressure or pumping, where they are slowly and softly pressed by machine.
The destemmed white wine must flows gently into a completely oxygen free pneumatic press, which completely prevents oxidation.
After adding yeasts selected for each type of wine and grape variety fermentation begins and the wine extractions are carried out gently over a long period to ensure all the components of the grapes that are essential for the structure, length and complexity of the wines, are extracted.
Different varieties call for the use of different equipment such as open tanks, closed tanks and French oak barrels. All of them have a temperature control system and follow longstanding winemaking traditions. The equipment used is perfect for making small quantities and make it possible to select methods of ageing in new French oak casks and fine tune each lot from a batch or part of a batch.
Deference to the terroir and respect for the grape are key to the precision work that we are proud to present to our customers.
At Herdade do Freixo temperature and humidity are essential for our wines to age well. The location of the cask-ageing cellar, in the deepest part of the winery, keeps the temperature at between 15º and 18º C and average humidity of 85% making limited use of artificial temperature control. This provides ideal conditions for the wine to develop properly.
Resting the wine in 225-litre casks based on grape variety and development in each type of wood allows for a perfect marriage between the different types of wood. This offers up "more subtle, complex aromas and rounded and elegant tannins" in the wines aged in French oak and "more robust woody aromas and more rustic tannins" in wines aged in American oak. Length of Ageing determines the density, intensity, flavour and aromatic profile, which allow the winemaker to select the final, standardised lot in which the wine will convey its history and personality.
Herdade do Freixo is proud to present the result of a carefully monitored adjustment of the grape variety's affinity with oak as a way of enriching and bringing out the flavours of nature itself.
Herdade do Freixo's priority in the bottling process is to preserve the essence of the wine and this led to investing in a cutting edge bottling line, which uses a rotary tower to remove the air from the bottles and injects inert gas before bottling. This prevents oxygen absorption at the filling stage and preserves the flavour and sensory profile of the wines.
The self-levelling line means it is not necessary to create a vacuum in the filling jar and makes it possible repeatedly to fill to precise, natural levels. A lack of return valves for the wine prevents contamination and makes washing and steam jet sterilisation of the entire circuit that comes into contact with the wine.