Vinos Pijoan carries our names, our essence. There is an intrinsic responsibility towards great quality – we wouldn’t be pleased with a wine holding our name that does not meet our standards and expectations.
Here, we wish to share a view into our small scale wine-making process, one that results in the enological delights we are truly proud of.
The importance of the vineyard in producing quality wines is undisputed, however, because our land is small, we buy our grapes from nearby vineyards. In them we have the opportunity to determine the level of pruning, irrigation and treatments, as well as the degree of maturity of the grapes when harvested. This allows us to obtain optimum ripeness of the fruit, which translates into high intensity and structure in the wine. All the grapes come from vineyards in the valleys of Guadalupe, San Vicente and La Grulla (Ejido Uruapan) in Baja California.
We continually visit the vineyards, mostly from flowering season (April), to the end of harvest (October). The optimal harvest time is determined by evaluating Brix levels (sugar), pH (acidity), flavors and phenolic maturity in seeds. Both white and red grapes are harvested early in the morning, stored in small plastic boxes (less than 45 lbs) and quickly transported to the winery for crushing.
We use a crusher-destemmer which we adjust according to the size of the grape and degree of extraction desired. We tend to leave 20-40% of the grapes uncrushed.
Fermentation is done in small stainless steel tanks (500 – 1,100 gal.), or 260 gallon open plastic tanks, where the pump-over is performed two or three times daily. When we decide to maintain the must in contact with the skins for longer than ten days of active fermentation, we use CO2 in order to protect the wine from oxygen.
We use two small basket-presses (900 lbs) where the pressing level is easily determined by continually tasting the press wine.
The red wines are aged for 12-14 months in of French, American or Hungarian oak barrels. Usually in Cabernet Sauvignon we use new barrels, second use in Merlot and third use for the Grenache and Zinfandel wines.
From 2016 bottling will be done in our facilities. The bottles are cap-sealed and hand-labeled by our staff’s wives.
The soul of wine passes through many hands and hearts before finally reaching the consumer’s palate. That is why we search out and select the finest grapes careful of their management before and after harvest.
We are highly conscious of our responsibility in taking care of the land and the ecosystem we inhabit as a producer of fine wine. Without seeking external certifications or qualifications, we proactively implement sustainable farming techniques to ensure healthy soil, water, air and a thriving ecosystem. In our vineyard, we are transitioning to compost-based soil enrichment. To control biological pests, we employ our local guests, such as owls to control moles. By creating nesting sites in our trees, we have created biological controls for rodents. Our friendly dogs on the property also ensure there aren’t too many grape-hungry visitors.
We are a socially conscious business and offer fair wages and opportunities for growth to our employees. Our work environment functions much like a family where everyone takes part in decisions and their voice is heard.