Alcoholic fermentation and vatting
The vinification process has changed over time and many operations done manually before are now done mechanically.
The grapes are picked by a mechanical harvest machine that performs just as well as a manual harvest.
The juice and berries are separated on a vibrating sorting table. These juices are then analysed (sugar, acidity) and are reintegrated or not depending on the results.
The harvest is then de-stemmed mechanically, separating the stems from the berries (the tannins contained in the stems are of bad quality).
The berries are then
lightly crushed using a crusher.
The juice, skins and pulp are all sent into the vats through a pipe that transports the grapes without compressing them.
The alcoholic fermentation usually begins 2 to 3 days after vatting and lasts 5 to 8 days.
Once the fermentation is finished and the sugar has totally been transformed into alcohol, the wine stays in the vat
for another 15 days (this is called vatting) to extract a maximum of aromas and tannins.
Since 1997, we have been equipped with a temperature control system enabling us to carry out ideal wine-making adapted to each vat.
Running-off and press :
At the end of the
vatting process we taste the wines 2 to 3 times a week.
As soon as we are satisfied with the wines we can start running-off the wines. This operation is used to separate the wine (free-run juice) from the marc. The free-run wine is then put into a vat and the marc is taken to a pneumatic press which compresses it to extract the wine that still remains. This is called the press-wine.
Malolactic fermentation :
This occurs naturally after the alcoholic fermentation. It lasts around ten days. It transforms the malic acid that is a natural element of the wine into lactic acid.
It then becomes more supple and aromatic.
The blending :
This is a very important operation as it determines the quality of the future wines. Blending consists of selecting the vats that will make the red Bordeaux Supérieur and those that will make the red Bordeaux.
A number of tastings are required and it can last several weeks.