From grapes to wine ...

The importance of "vintage"
Each vintage is different from one another. This is because in each year the grapes prossess unique characteristics which are the result of the weather in any given growing cycle (from March until the harvest).

Tasting the Grapes
Tasting berries is very useful in order to:

  • determine the phenolic maturity of their skins and seeds
  • determine the flavours of that year's fruit
I visit each parcel of vineyard at last 2 or 3 times prior the harvest in order to follow the evolution of maturity and the health status (regarding botrytis in particular). These visits also allow me to determine the optimal harvest date.

 

The importance of a sorting table!
Sorting grapes is extremely important in Burgundy - I use this technique in every vintage:

  • in a dry year, dehydrated berries (consequences of sunburn or hydric stress) are removed,
  • in a wet year, sorting is crucial for removing less fully-ripe grapes or those suffering from rot.

In my opinion, a sorting table is an absolutely necessary piece of equipment for producing fine wines !

 

The tranquillity of pre-fermentation cold soak
Sorting narrows down my selection of grapes to the best of the fruit, and this gives me the time to tranquilly vinify each cuvée: once in the vat, the grapes are cold soaked (at 8-10°C), for 5 to 8 days, with daily pump overs. Colour and aromas are thus gently and slowly extracted.

Fermentations with ambiant yeasts
Naturally alcoholic fermentation from the natural yeasts (the ones which develop on the grape skin in the vineyard) starts when temperature reaches 17-18°C.
During fermentation, pigeage (punch down) and/or remontage (pump over) techniques are used daily.

 

Long skin contact
Extended contact with the grape skin allows me to produce elegant wines with stable colour, and tannins that are structured with finesse. This gentle contact with 'young wine' and grape skins (as seeds sink down to the bottom of the vat) is managed with either manual pigeage or quick remontage.

The total time in tank, from harvest to pressing, usually lasts at least 4 weeks.

Daily tasting
Each cuvée is tasted every day to best follow its aromatic profile and its tannin extraction.
I make the decision to drain and press a tank when I feel the sensory profile has reached its optimum.