Wine quality is determined by the care and attention of the winegrowers, the knowledge and skill of the cellar master and the weather. The vines are cut back in winter, “tied” in March and in May the first shoots are already sprouting. In June and July the winegrower is busy “refreshing” the vines by removing unnecessary foliage and in August it is time for thinning out, meaning that excess grapes are cut out – absolutely essential for producing premium wine.
In South Tyrol the grape harvest, an activity known as "Wimmen", falls in the weeks from the beginning of September to the middle of October. On delivery the grapes are carefully inspected by the cellar master. Fermentation and processing the fresh grape must proceed quite differently according to whether a white, rosé or red wine is being produced.
For white and rosé wines the grape juice is pressed immediately and fermented separately from the pomace (skin, seeds, stems and stalks). Fermentation of red wine includes the must. The fermentation process varies in duration, but normally lasts between 5 and 14 days.
Most white wines, including the South Tyrolean Schiava (Vernatsch), are characterized by their fresh and fruity aroma. This has to be preserved and encouraged during production. Storage in large wooden barrels and steel tanks is best-suited to this purpose. Some whites and rich red wines require a longer period in a large vat or in barriques.