This is a rather unique Appassimento (or Dessication) technique that we use at Masseria Borgo dei Trulli. It can be translated as the “twisting of the stem”, but its more ideal to say the “pinching of the stem”.
When the grapes are judged to be ready for picking, the grape stalks are “pinched” with pliers.
A single hard squeeze is applied to each stalk. This damages the channels that flow between the berries and the vine. Care is taken not to sever the bunches from the vine. This “pinching” blocks the channels carrying various components to and from the berries.
They are then left to dry for approximately 10-15 days, where they will lose about 35% of their original water weight through evaporation, thus concentrating the sugar content and all their natural aromas.
When the berries show the desired flavor profile, they are selectively picked. Special care is taken that no berries are lost in the process, as they are very fragile at this stage and can easily separate from the stalks.