The winemaker is constantly attentive to the needs of his vineyard….
This ancestral savoir-faire passed on from generation to generation contributes to the preservation of ancient traditions, and is marked by the love of a job well done, and man’s deep respect for the natural world. His every action is designed to protect his vineyard. This essentially manual labour has a quasi-religious overtone at each season of the year. The hand of man merely lays the framework within which Nature can work its magic.
Management of the estate in separate vineyard lots allows our wines to express with subtlety the varying character of the soils. The harvested grapes are hand-picked at the moment of optimal ripeness. Our low yield ratio and rigorous grape selection on the vine and in the cellar ensure the highest quality of grape juice for each vintage. Cuvée du Vatican combines modernity and respect for the traditions of wine production:
For red wine the grapes are de-stemmed and then crushed very lightly, before being left to macerate for 20-35 days in stainless steel tanks and tanks made of cement. They ferment with the temperature strictly controlled at between 25º – 26º. Remontage (pumping up the grape must from the bottom to the top of the tanks) now takes place regularly twice a day. The slow, gentle infusion of the grape-skins, of the pips and of the grape pulp permits the gradual extraction of the grapes’ aromatic components and colours so as to ensure the fullest possible concentration of the wines. At the end of this first process, the second malolactic fermentation enables the wines to stabilize their structure.
To produce white wines the pressed grapes ferment at a low temperature of 18º-20º and the process of malolactic fermentation is blocked. The fermentation processes take place in casks in the case of Réserve Sixtine wines, aided by regular bâtonnage (stirring with a stick).
Red wines are refined over a 12-month period in vats, casks and tanks. White wines for their part are aged exclusively in casks over a period of 9 months. And so the wines, isolated from all outside interference, embark on their long ageing process, hidden away from the sunlight in vaulted cellars. Stored underground, the conditions of humidity here are perfect. The temperature is constant throughout the year, and the wines avail themselves of all their inherent virtuosity during this period when the passage of time is suspended, so that later, when bottled, they can give full expression to their character.