Fermentation and maceration
When the harvest crates arrive at the cellar we put the grapes in our tanks by scraping them before. Typically, each of our 17 plots is vinified in a separate tank. Some parts are vinified in open barriques.
After two to three days the grapes begin their fermentation by their own with the indigenous yeasts which come from our vineyards. The cap of skins and stalks is pushed down gently by hand into the fermenting juice every day. As we produce each plot separately, we can adapt the duration of the fermentation as well as the punching down according to the needs of each tank. After the alcoholic fermentation occurs naturally the malolactic fermentation.
In October and November, after a period of 3 to 5 weeks of maceration, we press the wines. We use a small vertical hydraulic press, such as those which were used in ancient times. This has the advantage of pressing the marc very gently and slowly, avoiding to bring bitterness into the wines. Very often we separate the juice from the tank ("vin de coule") and the juice that comes from the press ("vin de presse"). After pressing, the wines enter into a phase of hibernation.
In 2014 we started distilling the pressed pomace (skins and stalks) of some of our plots, working together with the young and artisanal boiler in the near village of Autignac in the Faugéres area.
The freshness of our wines
Our wines have a very pronounced acidity, especially compared to most of the wines of Languedoc. The pH values of our wines are of the order of 3.5, regardless of the year, which is very unusual for most wines of Southern France. This is one of the main reasons why our wines have a marked freshness that brings them minerality and elegance. In addition, the acidity as well as the tannins and the alcohol protect naturally our grapes and wines. That is why we do not need to add oenological products to our wines.