Much like the bonds between Carvalho, Ribeiro and Ferreira have shown a timeless sturdiness, our process is also centuries-old. A secret we would like to share with you about the blending of the best brandies, naturally aged in oak casks.
CR&F brandy is the result of the passionate combination of two essential ingredients: traditional techniques and a relentless drive to uphold quality and excellence.
Making CR&F is a delicate craft, which is controlled by all the strict rules of production of brandies in force in Portugal, and requires experience and reliability, but above all time.
The basis of everything to achieve perfection.
Our raw material – wine – is processed from the outset with the production of brandies in mind. This means that the wine that is going to be distilled must be made for this purpose and meet certain criteria. The grapes must have a low alcohol content, high acidity and some residual sugar, besides being all from Portuguese grape varieties.
This is one of the main bases for the production of our brandies.
Wine making involves crushing the grapes, pressing and fermentation, transforming the grapes into wine, which will then go on to the next step – distillation.
The double distillation of the best wines is the heart of CR&F.
The separation and concentration of the distillate matter that will give rise to the brandies begins.
Distillation takes place in two stages, using two heating circuits called "chauffes". After this process, we then proceed to the separation of the heart, heads and tails. This is because the heads and tails have an unpleasant smell and taste and, in some cases, harmful substances, such as methanol or ethyl acetate.
In the heart, we have the taste substances that specify the aroma and lead to a good brandy.
Only the "heart" – the best of the distillation – is used. It will be matured to create a harmonious union of flavours with the alcohol.
We now have the wine distillates that go on to the next step – selection.
The careful selection of the best raw materials is the secret.
Sensory and chromatographic tests are carried out, as well as physical-chemical analyses to guarantee the character that we seek for our brandies. After the results are obtained, the batches that will go on to age are selected.
The best conditions for the natural maturation of our brandies.
Oak wood allows the best conditions for natural ageing, and the casks are hand made, a careful work based on an experience acquired from an ancient craft. The natural humidity level and the temperature in the ageing room are rules in the maturing of the aromas and in the oxygenation of the ageing.
The Solera method is the guarantee of consistent quality.
It is the only brandy in Portugal approved to use the Solera Method, which allows the consistency of the batches that are bottled. An arrangement of wooden vats is made, in rows overlapping each other, a pyramid cascade system, resulting in brandies of different levels (that continue to gain flavours and aromas with each passing year).
We are at the stage of finalising the brandy before it goes into the bottle, diluting it to the desired alcohol percentage and filtering it.
We are now ready to bottle.
The authenticity of the brand in a balance between tradition and innovation.
There are three automatic bottling processes, followed by the manual process, which is very distinctive, for placing the different elements of the bottle, where the rope and the capsule are placed, ending with the robot that places the wax seals (seal and capsule).