In the Vineyard & in the Cellar
In the Vineyard
The entire vineyard is cultivated in "Upper and Large" with a spacing of vine rows of three meters. This innovative technique has been developed since the end of the 60s only in this region of Burgundy. It was not regularized until 1981 in the appellation decree. It makes it possible to perfectly adapt the vineyard respecting its environment to ensure its sustainable development. The few products of treatments based on sulfur and copper are used by contact only. The dose used is mathematically decreased by three times compared to the traditional planting technique of Burgundy. Thanks to the height of the clusters and to this spacing of the rows, the Gray Rot, scourge of the Pinot Noir in Burgundy, isn't very developped. So no systemic pesticide normally used and classified as one of the most dangerous to health is used. The wines obtained are "clean", that is to say without residues of pesticides at bottling after 30 months of maturing.
The estate has chosen to grind the part between rows to compete with the vigor of the vine but also to limit the sources of contamination and the spread of the diseases.
The Château de Villars Fontaine attaches great importance to the cultivation of the vine and reminds us that: "85% of the vintage is obtained from the vine". In order to reason the yield around 35 Hl / Ha and to guarantee the best concentration of possible matter in the grapes, a rigorous size is carried out each winter.
The work in green (disbudding, raising, trimming, trimming, work in green (disbudding, raising, trimming, trimming, thinning and thinning depending on the vintage) takes a fundamental place in the everyday life of the château from May to the harvest, thus obtaining the best phenolic maturity.
In the Cellar
"We have to know that we don't have Great Wines without Great Grapes!"
Harvesting is always done by hand. The aim is to guarantee the highest respect for the raw material and to select the best grapes for the first time. They are then transported in small boxes of 25 kg. Packing and trituration of the harvest are avoided, thus preventing oxidation which would be compensated by an excessive addition of sulfur. The grapes are then selected on a vibrating sorting table and then destemmed and crushed before being subjected either pressing for the whites or in alcoholic fermentation for red wines.
Vinification is carried out in a traditional and ancient way, with the absence of various and varied oenological products such as yeasts, enzymes and tannins. These abusive additions often standardize wines and eliminate the good compounds for health. All that is necessary for the elaboration of Great Wines is naturally present in the grapes.
The vatting is done at low temperature (max. 28 ° C) in open tanks. Unlike modern vinification that uses heating to break tannins and make wines to drink quickly without a real potential to keep. The fermentations obtained with natural yeasts spend on average 15 to 20 days for reds. They allow extracting the maximum of tannins which will assure the very long conservation of the wines. In addition, the benefits to our health are greatly increased by providing our cells with many more antioxidants. A stirring of seeds finally completes this extraction. In fact, Pinot Noir contains only 15% of its polyphenols in its skin, the rest being located in seeds.
To increase even more the stability of these numerous tannins and especially to obtain a gradual release effect, they are polymerized slowly in French oak barrels. The maturing is 18 months for white wines and 30 months for red wines. The Grande Traditions are matured for 24 months for the whites and 48 months for the reds. Barrels, less than 6 years old, are naturally desorbed for 36 months prior to manufacture.
The wines are unfiltered to eliminate any residues of pesticides through the decanting process in very high and small diameter tanks.
☼ THE DESORPTION OF BARRELS
Desorption is the inverse transformation of absorption, by which the absorbed molecules detach themselves from the substrate. The system is based on the law of mass action in chemistry. That is to say, to reduce the concentration of the most concentrated medium to the less concentrated medium due to migration by concentration difference.
The castle commanded exclusively, barrels whose staves were naturally desorbed 36 months outdoors. They suffer the effects of rain, wind and micro-organisms. This long and restrictive treatment allow removing naturally some of the molecules giving notes over-wooded, bitter, particularly unpleasant in the mouth.
The whole of our range of barrels receives this treatment of desorption which also allows during the maturing, a slow and regular micro-oxygenation of the wines.
In the end, we get very rich wines with a well-integrated woody and subtle and elegant aromas.
Unlike certain wineries, which have chosen today to work with oak chips or even "staves" to "wooden" the wines. But this does not bring stability or keeping potential.
☼ THE CORK
The natural cork has crossed the centuries without being out of mode. But for some years now, it has been attacked by synthetic cork and nowadays by screw caps.
Indeed, they are responsible for T.C.A (2,4,6-trichloroanisoles) or in some rare cases of similar molecules, at the origin of the disagreeable tastes of corks.
In view of the increasingly debatable quality of the corks and the difficulty of getting supplies, the Château de Villars Fontaine set up its cork desorption system in 1998. This treatment is exclusive and unique. It thus makes it possible to exclude a majority of these molecules responsible for corked bottles.
The whole of our annual need in caps is purchased in natural cork from our producer. Surface lamination creates a watertight barrier that prevents the process. We then deposit all these caps in perforated plastic boxes for a minimum period of one year. During this period, a person comes once a week, stirring all these boxes so that all the corks are desorbed efficiently. A clean, treated air stream is also continuously sent to remove unwanted molecules. At the exit of the vents are installed detectors to guarantee the effectiveness of the treatment. Finally, just before the bottling of our wines, the corks are returned to our producer in order to undergo a surface treatment. The tightness and the good behavior of the plug during aging are thus guaranteed.