The ‘Madre’ (“Mother” in Italian) is a thick deposit of wine-soaked lees and yeast cells left at the bottom of the Caratello (ancient barrels used to make Vin Santo in Tuscany) when racked.

Traditionally, the newly pressed grape juice is added to the Caratello alongside the Madre from the previous fermentation.

Over time, the ‘Madre’ will become a complex blend of older Vin Santos, yeast cells, and lees.

The quality and character of the final Vin Santo are therefore heavily influenced by the quality of the Madre.

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