The Art and the Method
What secrets lie behind each one of our bottles?
There are several terroirs on which we grow different varieties. But above all there is willingness! And that comes from man himself.
It is he who steers the finest boat into port, it is he who plays the finest recital of a beautiful piece of music. It is equally he who wrecks a ship or is booed by unhappy concert goers!
Our know-how in the vineyard is focused on one sole objective: harvesting ripe and healthy grapes.
To succeed, we choose pruning styles adapted to each grape variety (double strand for chenin and gamay, double Guyot for cabernet franc, simple Guyot for sauvignon blanc and gobelet for grolleau and pineau d'Aunis). The vines are generally pruned short.
Our acidic soils receive very little organic matter. We favour the vines own vitality and 'recycling' of tendrils and flowers. Excessive vigour is not recommended for the health of the grapes. A doctor would not advise a patient to be obese! Natural winter grass is allowed to grow as cover crops, helping to support the soil and protect against erosion.
In spring, the soils are tilled almost completely to turn the winter grasses into the soil and reduce the pressure on the vines from spontaneous vegetation.
Spring debudding is an essential step and allows us to choose which buds will develop into tendrils. We also considerably lighten the double stems of our cabernet vines. This takes 3 weeks for a team of 15 people.
Let us not forget that this monoculture in the vineyard upsets the natural, ecological balance. This can make the vineyard more vulnerable to parasites. We have chosen organic winemaking and therefore treat our vines with natural remedies to fight off parasites: sulphur and copper work well against these problems. We also use infusions and concoctions of herbs and plants to naturally fertilise and protect the vines.
At harvest time, a 20 strong team hand-pick the ripe bunches and place them delicately into 20kg bins, before being transported to the cellar.
To conclude, we are happy with this teamwork that ensures the best possible conditions for our vines to grow and grapes to mature; with the sole objective of transforming them into wine. "Only pick what you're going to eat".
In the cellar – in the kitchen.
How best to vinify these gamay grapes from Bruandières or the chenin from l'Aiglerie?
There is not really a recipe, just a bit of experience, a pinch of common sense, a few grams of knowledge and a healthy dose of intuition!
No crushing, no beating, no chemicals…just muscles to lift the weight, taste buds permanently awake, noses that catch the scents of wines each day as if they were approaching the neck of an elegant lady! It's all biology and senses.
Our pineau d'Aunis vines are indigenous and so are the yeasts we use in each fermentation. Using a "booster juice" per vineyard allows the fermentation to work in optimum conditions while respecting the origin of the terroir.
Our reds are 90% from maceration/whole bunch infusion. The ageing and follow-up varies from one parcel, variety and year to another.
Our whites are slowly fermented in vats or barrels.
Ageing is 8 months minimum.
We generally avoid moving the wine during the ageing process.
We do not filter the reds, and only rarely the whites.
We like sound and precise wines and believe that it is often preferable to add 1g of sulphites per hectolitre prior to bottling, than none at all.
We like to give our wines the same advice given by Saint Augustin: "Become what you are"!