Have you ever tasted a wine that has been open for 2 or 3 days?
In this case, you should notice that the wine evolves, because in contact with air, the wine contained in its open bottle oxidizes. Its color, its aromas, its nuances … everything changes! That is why it is important to preserve the wine from oxidation, so that it maintains its freshness.
But you should know that there are some cases in which we look for this oxidation . The vinification by biological aging represents a challenge to the classic rules of oenology.
What is organic farming?
In this case, it is a question of obtaining wines whose main characteristic is to undergo a period of natural aging in contact with air . A technique that is only possible in vineyards with a very temperate temperature, close to 18ºC.
It is also known as aging on veil or on lees , although in any case, it is a delicate and very special process that only occurs in some specific regions.
In this way, true oenological works of art are created , such as Jerez wines, or the famous Pedro Ximénez of the Montilla-Moriles Denomination of Origin, passing through extraordinary wines from the County of Huelva, Lebrija in Seville or in certain areas of the DO Rueda.
Outside of Spain, we also find the marvelous Jura wines in France.
But what is that process really like?
Formation of the protective veil
To begin with, and after a slow alcoholic fermentation and the disappearance of malic acid, the wine is placed in oak barrels.
Contrary to the usual oenological practices, it is essential not to completely fill the barrels or tanks, providing an air pocket between the container and the must.
This will give rise to a biological phenomenon, popularly known as veil in flower , which translates into a whitish layer formed by yeasts of the genus Saccharomyces, which protects the wine from oxygen and thus prevents oxidation.
The veil is normally generated in a period of three to six months after putting into barrels. The wine must be quite rich in alcohol, between 12 and 14 °, so that the yeast veil develops without bacterial deviation.
How are they different from other wines?
The veil of the flower provides unique nuances, different from any other wine . It is particularly light, delicate, without added sugar, with suggestive notes of salt and a bit bitter and dry.
A whole explosion of flavor that turns the must into an unrepeatable and emblematic combination, achieving excellent products such as fino and chamomile.
Organic farming controls
Biological aging can last more than six years. During this time, two annual checks are usually carried out: in spring and autumn.
These controls consist of a quick examination of the veil and a sample of wine for routine analysis (in particular, ethanal and volatile acidity). Wine is also tasted.
Wines that do not evolve to “yellow” are eliminated from aging and are used for other purposes, such as palo cut Jerez wines.
- The self-degradation of microorganisms (known as autolysis) allows the release of aromatic components (certain amino acids), as well as molecules (mannoproteins) that improve the sensations in the mouth.
- The wines after aging have an intense bouquet and a creamy flavor. In champagne, for example, it significantly improves the quality of its foam.
- Natural stabilization at the chemical level is emphasized. The risk of milky disorder (white break) due to unstable proteins is reduced, while the appearance of tartaric crystals (potassium bitartrate) at the bottom of the bottle becomes more rare.
- Greater sanitary controls are required.
- Higher cost and dedication of resources.
- It requires very specific climatic conditions.
Have you ever tasted a veil wine?
If this is not the case, we recommend that you do so . You will perceive more body in the mouth and powerful aromas on the nose, concentrated and of great persistence.