What you see in the photo above is called lees, otherwise known as spent yeast cells. Attractive, aren’t they? This purple, heavy slurry happens to be the lees from Sangiovese grapes, whose juice will be aged into the Sangiovese and Super T wines you’ll enjoy in a couple of years.
Once grapes are picked, juiced, put into the fermentation process and finally moved into barrels for aging, the lees remains. What may surprise you is that this supposed sludge is not always thrown out. Some wines are aged for a while on the lees in order to develop yeasty aromas or tastes (think Chardonnay and French Champagne). The lees you see here will actually be used in some of our 2012 reds prior to blending for bottling. The French call this process élevage, or to elevate the wine to its highest potential. Have no fear, though, we take this attractive looking sediment out of the wine before it’s bottled.
Winemaking isn’t always pretty (clearly), but the end result at Ponte is always a beautiful thing.