The Barrel cellar

The barrel cellar

In religious silence a small miracle is accomplished: noble fruits of nature are transformed into unique and unrepeatable works of art.

Suffused lighting and a rarefied atmosphere: in Abruzzo’s biggest wine cellar you can experience it all. In this absolute stillness the finest wines refine inside precious barriques or oak barrels, which give them unique flavours and scents. Citra’s cellar is among the biggest ones of central-southern Italy for its extension and for its capacity of wine evolution in wood. The first two rooms were built in 1975 and host oak barrels from Slavonia, whose dimension can vary from 2,500 to 15k litres, and in which wine ages for a period of time between 1 and 3 years. Humidity and temperature are constantly kept under control.

The refinement in wood barrels is a standard process for medium-high quality wines whose texture is important. The refinement period is a fundamental factor for the evolution of the product, according to the characteristics of the wine and its vintage.

la bottaia

Our pride is also called "Barricaia".

Large barrels and small oak barriques in artful array contain 7,000 hectoliters of wine and represent central and southern Italy’s preeminent wine aging cellar. This is where we practice the art of time in winemaking, this is where we produce our finest vintages, which are selected and developed by our enologists into extraordinary wines of distinct character.


The cellar tour

Assemblage room for blending

For Citra, assemblage is quite an important phase in the production chain. Wines come from 8 production areas, which are different in terms of vineyards’ exposure and altitude, microclimates, soil composition (soil texture), vine training (tendone, vertical trellis, guyot, spurred cordon…) and harvesting techniques. Oenologists personally check the choice of best grapes and plan the harvesting. An accurate blending allows keeping our high quality standards.

Filtration Room

In this room the clarification of blended wine is carried out with a crossflow filtration by employing filters made of membranes with balanced porosity, through which wine, at a standard temperature, flows across several times until clear. Crossflow filtration allows the removal of filtered remains keeping the efficiency of the system stable.

Cooling Room

The refrigeration-filtration stage (continuous stabilization) is carried out by cooling wine at -4°C in an insulated tank, where some crystals originate and are immediately separated by a filter. In this area there are autoclaves, or tanks for the refermentation of champagne-type and sparkling wines, which consists in the wine refermentation in a close environment so that carbon anhydride obtained with the transformation of sugar into alcohol (alcoholic fermentation) gives wine its classic "perlage" feature.

Osmosis Plant

It allows reducing the salt content (demineralization), or the presence of limestone in the water that is exploited in all the production phases. This process enhances the washing of plants, tanks and filters that are used to improve their performances. Furthermore the sterilization of water, with UV rays, guarantees several important advantages also on the micro-biologic point of view.

Storage of Samples

It allows the storage of 4 bottles each batch and it is used for the managing of any potential market warnings. This procedure allows tracing back quickly the samples through their batch and production time in order to carry out: organoleptic testing, chemical analysis, checking of the packaging and quality check of raw materials.

Citra’s Quality

Citra was granted many certifications, such as ISO 9001:2008, ISO 22000 and the International BRC and IFS certifications which are always required by the biggest buying associations and big European distribution chains to safeguard the final consumer. The quality of our products is guaranteed by the carrying out of analysis on samples of the associated wineries and by the check of raw materials.

As far as corks are concerned, Citra follows a strict protocol for their selection and in this way the risk of wine to be corked is cut down.

Bootling Room

Two lines of high production (12k and 8k bottles/hour) with automatic checking for the real-time qualifying examination of empty and full bottles, as well as of boxes.

In the image contrast room, the checking of empty bottles is performed in order to reject any bottle with imperfections or presenting foreign bodies. The checking of full bottles allows detecting defects in terms of level and corking.

8.000 Line

With a maximum hourly capability of 8,000 bottles, this line allows the processing of the 0.75 litre format.

Rinser machine: it rinses bottles and drains them with a peculiar movement in order to guarantee the maximum rate of hygiene and the absence of water.

The filler, the first process to be carried out in order to guarantee the absence of oxygen is represented by an injection of a quantity of nitrogen, which is equal to the volume of the bottle’s format, and then the filling of wine is performed, generating a “layer”.

The Corking machine, for both corks and stellvin, creates a vacuum in the bottle with a depressurization system and injecting nitrogen, so that oxygen cannot reach the inside of the bottle.

The next processes are: Capping, Labelling (with glue or sticker) and Packaging with the innovative wrap-around system, which wraps cardboard around the box of bottles.

At the end of the bottling process, the checking of the box’s weight guarantees the presence of the right number of bottles and of the right quantity of wine.

12.000 Line

With an hourly capacity of 12,000 bottles, it allows the processing of all bottles’ formats: from 0.187 to 1.5 liters.

The bottling process occurs inside an area-overpressure hood (Quadriblock) in a single sterile environment. The processing is carried out with the following machineries: rinser, filler, cork/stellvin corking machine, capper, labelling and packaging.

The rinser machine cleans all bottles with sterile water and drains them in order to guarantee the absence of water. The filler is an electronic device, with groundbreaking faucets and can be set with several bottling programs according to the type of bottle, the variety of wine and the adequate treatment to be carried out.

The corking machine for cork caps presses cork pieces in order to guarantee that the cap is not damaged during its insertion, while the stelvin corking machine is used for alternative sealings, which are requested by some markets.

Then, the next steps are capping, labelling (glue or sticker) and packaging with electronic machines set to process a high number of sizes and bottles.

At the end of the bottling process, the checking of the box’s weight guarantees the presence of the right number of bottles and of the right quantity of wine.

Microfiltration plant

Designed according to specific directives given by Citra’s oenologists and technicians, it is a groundbreaking plant. The process carried out on the three filtration lines consists in the passage of wine through a series of filters with different filtering capacity ranging from 1.2 to 0.45 microns. In order to protect the quality of wine, Citra employs microfiltration as a microbiological stabilization technique, or cold bottling, as an alternative to pasteurization (hot bottling).

This innovation allows the carrying out of checking and monitoring processes on the “cleaning” and on the sterilization of plants, as well as the close checking of every activity, its traceability and the customization of all the functions set.