Winemaking: triage, destem/crush, ferment in cement tanks ranging in size from 35 to 70 hectoliters. They begin with a 3 day cold maceration, and use both selected and natural yeast. Total maceration is 2 to 3 weeks with gentle pumpovers (remontage) twice a day – 28C. They prefer elegant wine with soft tannins. Free run and a minor percentage of Bucher pressed wine goes into 50-60% new oak for ML and 16 months aging in medium toast with 8 coopers. They blend in May and do a gentle filter before bottling. With 20 full-time employees they produce 150,000 bottles per year.
An interesting discussion we had with Noemie was regarding the benefits of cement over stainless steel. All of the chateaux seem to differ in their preferences, with some using large oak foudres and others using stainless, cement, or a combination. Obviously foudres are much more expensive and difficult to clean – so that decision is clear to me. However, cement and stainless are both easy to clean and maintain. She said their winemaker’s philosophy is that cement is better because it provides a more homogenous fermentation – just like cooking with clay casserole pans verses stainless steel pots. I thought this was an excellent analogy.