In the vineyards of Bassac, the vines find a varied alimentation and resources thanks to our living soils

THE VINEYARD

For years this vineyard is entirely cultivated in organic agriculture, like a garden. Our grapes are certified according to the organic recommendations of ECOCERT.

The vines are planted with a density of 5,000 per hectare, trained to a height of two metres and grown organically. Eight-bud double Cordon de Royat pruning, between-vine tilling, selective cover cropping according to the particular plot and compost-type organic soil enrichment.

Treatments are dosed according to the threat of disease and applied face-by-face, which means we only have to use very few products (our standards are considerably stricter than those specified for organic farming).

A great part of the manual work is carried out from April to June, including meticulous disbudding, vine training & tying up.

The grape varieties : 5 reds and 2 whites, a delightfully balanced aromatic bouquet resulting from the combination of Mediterranean vines with some of their more distant cousins : Syrah, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Viognier and Roussanne.

The average yields in the region are 50 hectolitres per hectare. Harvesting generally begins with our Pinot Noir vines at the end of August and finishes with the Mourvèdre in the second half of September. The grapes are always ripe and in excellent health.

Like a good cook toiling over a hot stove, the winemaker always monitors temperature

THE VINIFICATIONS

Grapes are entirely destemmed and grape varieties, depending on harvest time, may be vinified either separately or together. Like a good cook toiling over a hot stove, the winemaker always monitors temperature.

After filling the vats, the first phase of vinification begins: pre-fermentation maceration. There is no doubt that this is when we feel the most like a “chef”, since this is when the future of our wine is at stake, in terms of structural finesse and aromatic intensity. This phase is also essential in terms of use of SO2, since for several years now, we have used non-Saccharaomyces yeasts to protect the wine at this phase; this rids the wine of undesirable ferments without the use of sulphur and provokes gentle extraction of the best potential from the grapes.

The real fermentation process will begin shortly afterwards and vatting will last for 20 to 30 days, and includes much tasting and effort to favour expression of the finesse and elegance of the wine.

Prior to and post malolactic fermentation, clever temperature control prevents use of sulphur while the wine is fed from the lees through regular stirring.

The wines will then be matured following different methods: Bordeaux barrels, half muids, old oak vats (40hl and 60hl), stainless steel or resin tanks will be employed depending on the cuvée.

For the whites and the rosés grapes are harvested in the coolest hours of the night at the beginning of September and are immediately placed in a pneumatic press. Without giving too much technical detail, the press is something like a cutting-edge kitchen range for
a good chef: it is vital to control oxidation, drainage, keep pressure very low and monitor length of pressure cycle, in order to preserve the potential of the grapes.

After pressing and decanting by clarification, the sweet juice (must) will ferment gently for several days. At the end of the cycle, the wine is drawn off and matured, with regular stirring, until bottling.