131 RUFFINO | Sustainability Report FY 2021 D uring the harvest and subsequent winemaking, the laboratory receives about 30 samples a day from the esta- tes, which are analyzed to constantly monitor its progress and enable the winemakers to make crucial mana- gement decisions. T he analytical protocol is extremely strict for bulk wine supplies, starting with a “purchase proposal” sample to unloading the tank. We have also set out guidelines to assess the quality and ripeness of the grapes procured from external suppliers. Precise quality requirements and the utmost production diligence are required and specified in the supply contract in order to ensure that the grapes comply with all the ap- plicable laws and regulations. As far as quality is concerned, the grapes must be free from ob- vious defects, such as rot and deterior ation from fungal diseases or damage caused by insects and parasites, from defects caused by adverse wea- ther, such as hail, sunburn or dryness, and they must be duly clean and devoid of contamination, marks or abnormal coloring. The ripeness of the grapes is established by parameters like the re- quired amount of sugars, acids and the pH levels needed to make wine. Suppliers are required to commit to agronomical and cultural best practi- ces to ensure that the grapes ripen sufficiently. For wines produced and bottled by exter- nal suppliers, the laboratory provides the authorization to bottle based on sample analyses. After bottling, all the lots must be analyzed from a chemical, physical and microbiological point of view, as well as checked for the packaging before being re- leased and sold. The laboratory constantly follows all the production at the Pontassieve plant, from new wines to wood ageing controls and the bottling stage. Lastly, it plays a primary role in research into product stability, shelf life and new product development, such as in tests conducted by the winemakers. We implement microbiological checks of 100% of red wines at risk of Brettanomyces, from when the wines arrive in the cellar through to bottling. We continue sample checks six months after bottling. Unfortunately, Brettanomyces yeast is increasingly frequent in cellars and can result in significant aromatic changes in wines where it manages to survive, hence causing abnormal off flavors resembling plasters or medicines. For fine wines that are at greater risk of contamination (Chianti Classico, Modus, Alauda and Romitorio), the aim is to track and control every step in the production process through microbiological and chemical checks, starting with the arrival of bulk wine (external or from Tenute Ruffino), through processing and ageing in wood to bottling and beyond in order to preserve the distinctive aro- mas and flavors of each wine. The laboratory also plays an important part in addressing product complaints and non-com- pliance reported by consumers. In order to ob- serve the principle of efficiency and timeliness in resolving the issue and to ensure constant tra- ceability, 100% of these cases must be managed by transcribing all the information on specific forms. Immediate corrective measures are then defined and at the end of the complaints ma- nagement, the consumer is informed about the actions taken. Ruffino S.r.l. monitors the number of complaints and internal process non-compliance on a we- ekly basis. The process is managed using the LEAN methodology, which aims to find the un- derlying cause of the problem and to solve it once and for all, so that it is not repeated in the future. At the end of each financial year, an audit is con- ducted into the complaints received and internal non-compliance, and specific plans are drawn up for the following year aimed at reducing them, setting a maximum threshold that should not be exceeded. During FY 2021, two non-compliances were re- corded about the non-legibility of bar codes on boxes. This problem did not have negative reper- cussions for the consumer, but correct legibility is essential for logistical purposes.