The winemaking

The vinification and ageing of our wines in the cellar is done with as much care as possible allowing the terroir to express itself and show its minerality, freshness and elegance. Our grapes come from a natural viticulture resulting in naturally harmonious wines with high levels of tannins, alcohol and acidity, which protects the wines from oxidation as well as microbial spoilage. It is therefore not necessary to use additives in our wines.

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Each vineyard parcel is vinified separately and fermented with indigenous yeasts from our vineyards. We ferment the must on the skins for 2 to 4 weeks. Depending on the cuvee, ageing takes place for one, two or three years. Depending of the needs of the wines, ageaing takes place in vats, in concrrete vats, in concrete egg, in terracotta amphora or in French oak barriques. Before bottling we protect our wines with a very low dose of sulphur.

    The vinification

    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.

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    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. ------ -- -------- ---- --- ------ - --- ---------------- -- ---- ---- ------------ -- --------- ---- ------Pressing In October and November, after a period of 2 to 4 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. ------ -- ------ -- --------- ---- ------------ -- ----- ----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 3.6, 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.


      Assembly tasting When that the new wines have passed through the winter, we proceed in March or April to a decisive event in collaboration with our oenologue: the assembly tasting. We take samples of all our tanks, taste and analyze them in detail, and then decide about the assemblage of our four cuvés. Our focus lies on the characteristics of the wines from the 17 vineyards to reach the typology of our four cuvés.

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      Ageing After the assembly tasting the three cuvés are aged either in stainless steel tanks, large concrete tanks, in stoneware amphora, in concrete eggs, in barriques of 1 to 4 years or in new barriques. The quantities of wine of each cuvé which is aged in these containers are decided each year based on the assembly tasting. ------ -- -------- ---- --- ------ - --- ---------------- -- --------- ---- ------------ -- --------- ---- ------Bottling The “Faugères” is bottled after one year of ageing, the “Réserve” and “Grande Réserve” afer two years, and the “Grande Réserve de Schiste” after three years. We bottle by end of August in “fruit day”, just before starting the harvest. Before bottling we protect our wines with a small amount of sulfites (sulfur dioxide, SO2). All wines naturally contain small amounts (5-8 mg/liter) of sulfites. They come naturally from the activity of the yeast during fermentation. Before bottling, we add a very little dose of sulfites to our wines, in order that they contain totally on average 25-30mg/liter of total SO2 (by comparison: the legally permitted value ​​for dry red wines in the European Union is 150mg/l, for organic wines: 100mg/l, for Demeter-certified wines: 70 mg/l). Our experience from the past ten years shows that these very low values ​​of added sulfites allows us to successfully protect our wines from any undesirable microbial deviations.