Winemaking

 

A great wine is not made in the cellar.

According to our philosophy, wine is madein the vineyard, and not in the cellar. Neither is it the winegrower, not the oenologue, who creates the wine. Why schould they, when nature itself can do it, and a lot better, if you give it the opportunity to do so. Our task consists merely of the accompanying of the natural process of fermentation, in which we want to intervene as little as possible. This does not mean we underestimate the importance of what happens after the picking, then, even though the wine is not made in the cellar, it is vital to keep the quality obtained in the vineyard and not loosing it during the process. Therefore we can use the most traditional, as well as very modern methods.

Back to the vertical handpress.

Very traditional to begin with is the pressing. It all happens with vertical handpresses. Not because we like staying at the press until 4 a.m., but because there exists no better way to get, with the juice, also the essence of what we concentrated in the vineyard. The result we aspire can only be obtained by a static, vertical and slow pressing. That is why it takes almost 24 h to reach that goal. But, to avoid oxydisation as a result of such a long pressing, we use more modern means. From the receptiontank onward, through all hoses en taps to the barrels, the juice is protected by CO2 (carbon dioxyde), an inert gas that prevents direct contact with oxygene and therefore makes the use of SO2 (sulphur dioxide) superflous at this stage.

Traditional barrel fermentation.

The fermentation again takes place, most traditional, in oak barrels. Then, even though large quantities of oxygene may be disastrous for the wine, the subtle contact through the staves can have a very favorable influence on its evolution during the fermentation and breeding. We do not want to wooden the wine in any way, even if you cannot completely avoid this, but we try to let it breath and to keep it from being locked up during this process. We also do like the wine to find its own way during its development, so we do not intervene at any moment. That is why our wines are not bottled before 12 to 18 months of barrel aging, and are only available after 2 to 3 years of bottle aging in our cellar.

Then, why do we filter the wines ?

To protect the wines, we use very small doses of SO2 (sulphur dioxyde) and this very late in the process. But to be able to do so, our wines must be filtered. Then, whereas red wines can easily be stabilized without filtering, for whites, and especialy noblesweet ones, this is a very different matter. The clearer the wine, the smaller the risk of refermentation and also the quantity of SO2 needed to conserve it. And that is finaly our aim : to produce wines that are not for immediate drinking but which can age over a longer period, constantly developing newer and more complex flavors.

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