Bodegas Epifanio Rivera integrates the traditional methods together with the latest technological advances. The modern winery is located in Pesquera de Duero, with a capacity for 100,000 bottles every year. The picking of the grapes is done by hand and the grapes are collected in boxes of 20 kilograms to ensure a careful selection.
Fermentation and soaking is produced by following a strict control of the temperature in the fermentation tanks. These tanks are shallow and very wide in order to extract the best tannin. The chambers where barrels and bottles are placed for ageing are thermally controlled, so as to accurately reproduce the conditions in the old underground wine cellars. The whole process is meant to achieve the highest expression in our wines.
Thus, every wine, every year is made in slightly differing ways to better suit the specific characteristics of the harvested grapes. The ageing of the wine in the barrels is analyzed through taste testing and adapted to each vintage.
The traditional date for grape harvest in Ribera del Duero is October 12th, but it varies greatly due to ripeness affected by the year's climate. The exact moment of harvest is determined by analysis and tasting of the grapes. During the harvest, the grapes are hand picked and the bunches are placed in 15/20kg crates. The unloading of the grapes at the winery is done a few hours after the bunches were cut from the grapevines and each bunch is again hand selected for quality.
Once the grapes are in the stainless steel tanks of the winery, the process of cold soaking while the grapes cool for 2/3 days in order to obtain the greatest level of aroma. Next, the initial fermentation process starts with the natural yeast of the grapes.
The process is controlled only by regulating the temperature with a starting temperature of 25 degrees celsius and never exceeding 29 degrees. The design of the tanks are very important during this process with shallow wide (3 meters) tanks being important to extract the best tannins from the grape skin. The moment of emptying the tanks and moving the wine to the barrels is dependent on the tasting and characteristics of the vintage.
Once the wine is placed in the oak barrels, the malolactic fermentation process starts. The barrels are carefully selected from prestigious manufacturers which demonstrate quality control and months of drying necessary. Seventy-five percent of the barrels are made from French oak which exhibit a very fine grain.
The remaining twenty-five percent are American oak with the same criteria for a fine grain.
The aging chamber is thermally controlled during the entire year to mimic the ideal conditions of the old deep underground cellar of the Rivera-Aparicio family. The months of ageing of each wine are determined by tasting, depend on the potential of each vintage and the evolution of the wine, and can vary every year.
The bottling of the wine is done onsite using the most modern techniques in order to avoid damage to the wine.
All the wine is bottled with natural cork selected from the best batches of the most famous cork makers. Next, the winery stores the bottles in racks for the period of time that is determined to be ideal, waiting for the wine to evolve before leaving for market so that it embodies the highest standard of quality which characterizes the Epifanio Rivera Winery.