Maceration and fermentation
- The freshly harvested grapes are transported in small crates to prevent them from being crushed. They are then manually sorted, and any foreign bodies like leaves, stems and insects are removed. This sorting is critical to ensure a high-quality wine.
- The grapes are then crushed and often destalked before being placed into the vat.
- Unlike the Chardonnay which goes straight into the press, the Pinot Noir (red grapes with white juice) must be left to macerate in a temperature-controlled vat at around 14°C. This helps extract the tannins and color from the skins.
- While the must is macerating on the skins, alcoholic fermentation begins. The first fermentation is triggered by the action of yeasts and starts to transform the sugars into alcohol, releasing carbon dioxide gas.
- During these stages, there are regular pigeages and pumping over. The cap of skins and pips is pushed back down into the must and the must is pumped out and back into the top of the vat, to moisten the cap.
Devatting and putting into barrels
After two or three weeks, the free run juice is racked off from the vat and the solids are pressed. The free run and pressed juices are blended and then placed in French oak barrels.
Next, the malolactic fermentation takes place, which transforms the malic acid into lactic acid and which is carried out by microorganisms called lactic bacteria. This reduces the natural acidity of the wine.
The ageing process involves by two main actions:
- Topping up: During the ageing process, some of the wine evaporates and soaks into the wood. This is known as the angels’ share. To avoid any oxidization, the barrels are topped up with some of the same wine. This operation, called ouillage in French, is carried out on a weekly basis.
- Racking off: The wine is transferred into another container in a process known in French as soutirage, leaving the lees behind.
La Cuvée Ronde: The “round vat” is a Burgundian tradition. It involves blending wines from different barrels or vats but from the same appellation in order to obtain a complementarity depending on the vintage. The aim is to end up with a balanced wine. The tasting team validates each blend.
Le vin est d’abord très légèrement filtré pour le rendre limpide et brillant.
First, the wines are lightly filtered to make them clear and brilliant. Then bottling takes place in five stages:
- Rinsing: All the bottles are rinsed with filtered water and then drained before filling.
- Filling: Also known as la mise, when the wine is put into bottles or magnums.
- Corking: The bottles are sealed with natural or synthetic corks.
- Capsuling: The bottles are topped with a light aluminum capsule. Their yellow color gives them a harmonious feel and makes them stand out from the crowd.
- Labeling: Lastly, the bottles are labeled with a front and rear label as well as a collerette or neck label. The wine must now wait a while before being sold because the bottling process disturbs it and it needs time to settle.