From a point of view of seasonal proceeding, the rainy winter 2003/2004 was followed by a cool spring. The very careful vineyard management has avoided any mildew attack, which has caused some problems in the southern part of our area. The first part of the summer has been characterised by cooler temperatures, well below the levels we have reached during the past three-four years, with very good temperature excursions between night and day, allowing grapes to maintain a very good level of natural acidity and to develop very intense aromas. As normal summer temperatures returned, we trimmed leaves around the clusters for additional sun exposure and for preventing humidity to create conditions of unwanted rot. As mentioned above, the harvest begun about three weeks later compared to the last years. The long hang-time produced fruit with ripe and strictly varietal berry aromas, very balanced tannins and acidity, and a slightly lower sugar level than in the past three years. Concerning the vinification systems, we have fully implemented the experimentations conducted during previous vintages and would like to resume them in the following chapters.
The first important improvement has been made increasing systematically the active use of CO2 with both, white and red grapes. With regard to white grapes, we have paid full attention to work in reduction, in order to prevent oxidation and enhance varietal characters; during the harvest period, every single bunch of grapes has been constantly protected from oxidation, with very effective technique. The use of dry carbon dioxide in the press, pipes and thanks has allowed a full protection to the white grapes must.