Our domaine is, above all, a family estate.
Ludivine and Rodolphe, brother and sister, work both full-time (and even more!) on the Domaine. Rodolphe manages the vineyard and the winemaking, Ludivine manages the marketing, paperwork and orders preparation. We are very complementary. We are helped in these tasks by three full-time employees so we can say that this is really a team work !
The vines are planted on some of the finest sites in Touraine, on the South bank of the river Cher, on siliceous-argil (clay and flint) soil.
(There is not an exact word or translation in English for the word Terroir. Just know that the terroir is actually a “mix” of the soil, the slope and the microclimate of a piece of land. The location from the river, the air circulation, everything matters and is part of the Terroir. )
Over the years, we expanded the surface of production to now reach 29 hectares, including, for the main grape varieties, 20 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and 4.5 hectares of Gamay. To match the demand and for the past ten years, we had to pull out some of the red vines and replace them with a white vine: the Sauvignon Blanc. The Terroir of the river Cher Valley, is one of the best Terroir for Sauvignon Blanc where it thrives perfectly and we are proud to say that our Touraine Sauvignon Blanc is very much enjoyed in France as well as outside our borders !
On the contrary, what didn’t change is our way to produce and handle the vineyard. We are constantly striving to improve the quality of our grapes through short-cane pruning, strong spring de-budding, de-leafing, low yields and green harvesting methods.
Since Spring 2011, in a concern of environmental protection, we have put in place, on almost all of the vineyard, hormones diffusion capsules, a system called "sexual confusion".
To make it short and simple, the principle is to prevent males butterflies from finding females and thus to fertilize. De facto, there is no spawn and so no egg nor larva. The larvae usually like to eat grapes by biting them. This wound is then an open door to diseases such as Botrytis (grey rot), especially in case of humid weather.
This method allows us to significantly reduce, or even avoid, the use of insecticides and thus fits into the steps of the “Grenelle de l’environment”. Moreover, it is used in organic farming.
After some anecdotes on our methods of production in the vineyard, you will find below some details on our work in the cellar.
We use a pneumatic press for a low pressure better controlled extraction of the juice. It also allows us to make skin macerations. This is a natural way to bring the acidity down and give more flavor, more body to the juice by letting macerate grapes and juice together, for several hours inside the press. We close the drains placed in one end of the press to keep the juice inside.
After filling up the press, we need to make sure that the air is saturated in oxygen to avoid any oxidation of the juice. In order to do so, we add some dry ice (basically, CO² ice cubed) while filling up and before closing the doors of the press.
The winery is mainly stainless steel : better way to work, regarding quality and hygiene. All tanks are temperature-controlled, each of them being managed through a control panel. So, of course, the quality of grapes and wine is important but the quality of the wine storage (using the control of temperatures at all time) is just as much!
Finally, the bottling. We do it, throughout the year, depending on the needs. We are fortunate to own, actually co-owned with one of our colleagues, our own bottling machine which allows us to manage our needs better.
First of all, we wouldn’t have enough space to store one year production in bottles. Second of all, that way we choose to keep the wine on lees as long as possible, so it keeps evolving, gets more body, more richness. So it's better that way!
Joint ownership enables to have more efficient and more modern equipments. And it’s also a good way to share tips and techniques !