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Harvesting

labourHarvesting: It takes about 100 days for vines to develop from the flowering stage to producing ripe fruit. The harvest generally takes place around September 15. The grapes are the essential component of every quality wine. They must be ripe – but not over-ripe – with good acidity and proper maturity in phenols and tannins. Picking is done by hand and the grapes are systematically selected. To make sure the harvest is truly fresh, it is best to avoid high summer temperatures and to pick the grapes early in the morning.


Vinification

Vinification Once they are ripe, grapes contain sugars. These are transformed by naturally occurring yeasts (present in the vines and therefore in the grapes, giving the wine its special character) into alcohol and glycerol, giving off carbon gases. It needs about 17g of sugar per litre to produce 1 degree of alcohol.

labourFor white wines, the grapes are put directly into the press. The juice obtained is called “must” goes down into the cellar and put into oak barrels in which the alcoholic fermentation takes place.

For red wines, the grapes are partly stripped from their bunches (the berries taken off the stalks). They are left to rest on their skins in a vat (preferably wood) for a week or more according to the character of the year. This phase allows extraction of the tannins and the colour contained in the skins. When the vats have reached a temperature of around 18*C, the yeasts begin to function and the alcoholic fermentation begins. This goes on for between 8 and 15 days, during which we break the crust once or twice a day (thus putting the solids back into contact with the liquids) until all the sugars have been converted into alcohol.

Use of sulphur is kept to the lowest possible and varies according to the healthy condition of the grapes.


De-vatting – racking – barreling

When the alcoholic fermentation is over, the wine must be de-vatted and racked as delicately as possible. The result must be decanted and put into barrels avoiding the use of pumps. To do this we rely as much as possible on the use of gravity.

 

Cellaring (Elevage)

In wood: most of our specifically named wines are raised in oak barrels. We use no more than 10% of new oak to produce wines that avoid tasting too much of wood but which possess their own identity and are a proper expression of their “terroir”, the land in which they are grown.

our cellarsNew or nearly-new wood barrels absorb a not-inconsiderable quantity of wine known as “the angels’ portion”. They therefore have to be regularly topped up to make sure the barrels remain full and so avoid oxidation.

This “elevage” continues for between 10 and 24 months, depending on the wine. A second fermentation will take place in the barrels, the malolactic fermentation in which the lactic acid becomes malic acid. This natural phenomenon is linked to the activity of specific bacteria and significantly reduces the acidity of the wines.


Racking

While maturing in the cellar, wines sometimes need to be put directly in contact with oxygen once more and at certain points it is useful to separate them from their lees, by transferring them into another barrel or vat.


Bottling

Our bottling is done as much as possible by using gravity, disturbing the wine as little as possible. We attach a great deal of importance to choosing when bottling takes place, timing it according to the phases of the moon.

Our whites are sometimes fined and then lightly filtered to produce a brilliant, limpid wine.

Our reds wines are generally neither fined or filtered. After being unified and after being decanted and allowed to rest for a minimum of 3 weeks, they are put into bottle. Some of our wines (those produced in small quantities, certain premiers crus and our grand crus) are bottled using a traditional five-spouted spigot. The others are bottled with the same care but using more modern techniques.

L'abus d'alcool est dangereux pour la santé, consommez avec modération