We do not harvest until the grapes are fully ripe. Besides checking on the acidity/sugar level balance, we aim to monitor the plant development throughout the final ripening. Only this latter 'phenolic development' can provide the grape with those elements needed to produce great wines.
Since our cellars are at the centre of the domaine, it is just a short and easy journey for the harvested bunches to be brought from vineyard to the cellars. The grapes are destemmed and crushed, and very quickly poured into the fermentation vats.
Each variety is handled separately and with the greatest care. The normal time for maceration and fermentation is between 25-30 days at a low temperature, to yield the maximum extraction. In addition to this traditional method we are experimenting with various modern techniques to produce some special wines.
At this point, in terms of its vinification, the young wine is now in its final phase. Some 60% of our production is set aside to mature in barrel. For the varietal wines and the 'assemblages' (wines blended from different varieties) - 'Le Traver', and 'L'Hortalesse' - we use barrels of French oak (from the Allier), and for the 'Le Puech' we use American oak (from Missouri). The other wines are matured in enamel-lined vats.
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