Orujo's culture

OllejosTHE ORUJOS

They are the raw materials used in the distillation process, they constitute the solid part of the stepping or pressing of the grape, after it is crushed the skins (ollejos), the seeds and the raceme of the grapes remain. Then they are put through a stemmer machine to separate the sticks and the seeds.




THE DISTILLATION

Process by which we obtain the orujo spirit drink. The technique and the art of distillation is to properly regulate the heat input (gas in our case) in order to obtain a slow and steady distillation rhythm that favours the emergence of the desired aromatic compounds.

 

It is made in two phases::

  • Vaporization of the most volatile parts from the orujo.
  • Condensation of these vapors by water cooling, thus making the spirit.

Distillation in Orulisa is carried out in a closed, sealed circuit, with people only intervening in the process of emptying and filling the skins in the still pots, then they are sealed with clay as it is done traditionally, and in the opening and closing of the doors.
The process begins by loading the boilers with the already fermented marc, previously it has been introduced a quantity of water to avoid the direct contact of the marc with the bottom of the pot.

In the condensation three phases occur:

  • The Heads (First Orujo), with alcoholic contents  over a 70% vol.
  • Hearts (Intermediate Orujo), with alcoholic contents between 50%vol and 70% vol.
  • Tails (Final Orujo),  with alcoholic contents under 50% vol.

For the resulting liquor to be the most homogeneous and regular possible in its quality, heads and tails (due to their inferior character) are eliminated using only the liquor that is obtained in the Hearts phase which corresponds to a flat distillation curve.

The orujo liquor obtained from our stills goes to a reservoir of 20,000 litres, staying for a year in order to homogenize the product for subsequent bottling.

Alquitaras

THE STILLS 
Method employed  by Orujo de Liébana, S.A. for the orujo spirit distillation. It is the slowest and most constant method but with an inferior productivity, although if wisely used by the distiller brings an extraordinary quality to the final product.

The word “alquitara” (still) comes from the Arab “al-gattara” (that who distills).

It is usually built in copper and has three parts:

  • The Still Pot: a copper container which is tin coated on the inside, usually of an oval shape which ends in a narrow mouth in its upper part, here is where orujos are loaded and extracted later once the distillation process is over. The loads of the orujos vary between 150 and 200 kg.
  • The Still Column; is where the fumes rise to the collection vessel.
  • The Collection Vessel: with the shape of an inverted funnel and which is joined to the upper part of the still pot, serving as its lock. In there, the fumes that condesate, as a result of the contact with the cold water that surrounds its walls, are collected.