Marsala is a DOC wine. It is a fortified wine, made with a blending of three different types of grapes: Grillo, Inzolia and Catarratto. The particular system to make a Marsala, starts during the fermentation. During this process, in fact, the fermentation of the must is blocked through an addition of alcohol by wine.
The result of this operation is called "Mistella." "Mistella" is the base to make Marsala. Moreover, Marsala Sweet and Dry have an addition of a small quantity of "cooked must," in order to get the particular flavor of fine Marsala.
The fortified wine so made, is put in wood barrels for at least 8 months for aging. The wine is aged additionally in bottle for four months for a total of a year's aging time. The minimum degree of alcohol by volume must be 17°.
The process used to make Colombo Marsala, is a process oriented to obtain the maximum quality. Firstly, an accurate selection of the best grapes of the harvest is made for starting with the best base wines. This is a very important step, because all the other following steps, are conditioned by the quality of these base wines.
For Colombo, "Mistella" is made once per year, with the fresh must, during the vintage time. This "Mistella" accurately made for Colombo, gives a very high level of quality to the product and is a step that many less expensive Marsalas skip.
Another important step is the preparation of the "cooked must" to give the particular touch to the flavor of Marsala Dry and Sweet. Colombo is the unique producer of "cooked must" made by the traditional (and expensive) system. It is made using a copper pot, heated by log-fire. This old process gives Colombo's "cooked must" a special and unique flavor.
After blending, Colombo Marsala is put in Slavonia Oak Barrels for aging for at least a year. Into the Colombo Marsala blend, there is a part of very old Marsala that enriches the flavor of the wine.
Please note, moreover, that Colombo Marsala Fine DOC has 18° of alcohol instead 17° of alcohol. The strength 18° is the same strength of a Superior Marsala.
Colombo Marsala is made with the utmost care at every step -- incorporating analytical inspections and tastings to ensure the highest quality.