Douloufakis cretan wines - Winemaking in amphoras
2018 was the third year that we produced wines in clay amphoras (Cretan jars: pithoi) of 250-300lt. Each of the three vinifications was not the same as the previous one and it was slightly differentiated, based on our previous years’ experience.
These wines have a very different character, compared to the conventional ones and have been produced without adding yeasts, with minimal use of sulphites and no further intervention. Nevertheless systematic and continuous work has been required.
Describing the production process, in general, we would say that during fermentation, the stems are punched down regularly into the must, manually. When fermentation has been completed, the amphoras are rim-filled and sealed with clay lids. After a sort period the stems are separated from the wine which remains further in the amphoras to mature and to clarify naturally.
In 2018, in particular, three different grape varieties, Liatiko, Vidiano and Muscat white, were vinified separately. After maceration, which lasted for 30 days, the wine was separated from the solid parts. The wine was pumped back into the amphoras where it has remained until now.
These amphora wines are a kind of an experiment for our winery, which is highly motivated to find out how Cretan varieties and Cretan terroir will be expressed in the wines’ character, purely without interventions.
These wines are produced from the same grape varieties, the same vineyards and in almost the same ways to those having being used for many centuries in Crete.
We will dare to close using Jeff Bezos’ quote "It's not an experiment if you know it's going to work".