Know how


Techniques of vinification.

Grape Harvest

The grape harvest begins generally in the middle of September and lasts about a week or a fortnight depending on the years. The harvesting is done entirely by machine (Grégoire).

The grapes once picked are taken directly to the winemaking plant in panniers.

Pressing

When the white grapes arrive at the winemaking plant they are immediately pressed in order to extract the juice and thus avoid any oxidization. To avoid crushing with consequent premature extraction of juice, the grapes are brought to the press on a conveyor belt.

The length of pressing depends on the year and particularly on the state of extraction of the juice and its sanitary condition.Pressing generally takes between 2 and 3 hours. The winery has two pneumatic presses of 40 HL (Willmes brand).

Clarifying

The juice after pressing is called must. It runs down directly into the vats under the wine presses. It is then pumped into the settling vats where it is chilled to 10°C for about ten hours in order to clarify the must. The clarified must is then pumped out into the vinification vats.

Fermentation

The transformation of sugars into alcohol is called Alcoholic Fermentation. It may last up to three weeks. At the end of this fermentation the juice that was called must is thereafter called wine and has a degree of alcohol from 12,5 to 13%.

The temperature during fermentation can rise to as much as 25° and can cause a loss of aromas and the vats are thus equipped with a system of thermoregulation. The temperature of vinification thus limited to 18° preserves the quality of the wine

Racking

Once fermentation finished, the first drawing-off may begin. This consists in removing the heavy lies formed during the fermentation. These lies consist of various forms of mud and waste . The number of rackings varies with the year and the skill of the wine-maker. At the end of the racking there should remain only fine lies.

Maturation

Takes about 5 to 6 months, during which time lies are brought up from the bottom of the vat to the surface for about ten minutes. This gives richness and balance to the wine.

Clarifying and chilling

Next follows the important process of clarification without which a protean casse in bottle may occur producing a whitish cloudiness.

After clarifying the wine must be chilled and drawn-off into a vat for tartaric precipitation where it is chilled to -5°C for about 3 days during which time crystals are formed, thus avoiding their production later on in bottle.

Filtration

Filtration is effected by passing the wine through several layers of different earths. This filtration is absolutely essential. It allows the wine to attain its final clarity and brilliance. The earths used are of different colours and textures. Each has its own particular function.

Bottling

Since 2008, we bought with three other wine growers a bottling machine to realize ourselves the bottling. Before bottling, the machine is carefully disinfected and sterilized with hot water. 3 steps of temperature are done to eliminate any microorganism. When the machine is clean, empty bottles are put down on a table of accumulation to print the date of bottling. Bottles are rinsed, filled and then corked. They stay 3 minutes on the table, it is the time necessary to the adaptation of the cork. The speed of bottling is 3000 per hour.


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