The initial project was based on a very clear winemaking objective, to produce ambitious wines intensely reflecting their individual local terroirs. In light of genetic variables linked to each variety and to variations of meso-climate, each grape variety was carefully matched to each growing site.
Preference went to dense vineyard layouts of 2m x 0.9m and a pruning to 7-9 buds per vine. Other important factors followed: vines staked to 60-70cm from the ground, canopies 120-150cm thick, dry pruning, curved canes, bud selection, green pruning as needed, leaf-pulling, tying-up solely by hand. For it is our conviction that only physically confronting each vine and manually working with it will allow the vine to find its own unique balance in growth and development.
Another decision was to cover-crop all the vine rows with spontaneous grasses that are different for each vineyard, since the micro-climates will often vary from parcel to parcel. Any unwanted growth is eliminated with pyro-weeding, and the grassy cover under the vines is mown as desired. Cover-cropping the vineyard ensures a good supply of organic material to the soil, which in turn nourishes the vine’s root apparatus and helps aerate the soil, not to mention encouraging a symbiosis with insects and worms, which improves soils structure.
The “cleanliness” of a wine, necessary if the reflection of its cru is to be clearly perceivable, is a kind of transparency that allows the aromas of the grapes, transformed into wine, to emerge in all their clarity. The winemaking process, starting with the pressing of the berry, must be performed with this goal in mind.
The wines ferment and mature in steel tanks and oak casks. Maturation begins after the completion of fermentation and continues, sur lie, right into the heart of the following summer, and then they bottle-age for an entire year.
The white wines are released to the market 24 months after harvest, while the reds are given lengthier bottle-ageing, from 36 to 48 months.