Head winemaker Dale adopts an ethos which combines sustainability with a tireless commitment to quality in all practises at the Domaine.
Maximum leaf coverage is encouraged during the growing season to protect the grapes from the intense rays of the sun. Manual leaf plucking is then performed around the bunches two weeks prior to harvest to let light penetrate and air to circulate around the fruit. This allows enhanced final ripening if needed and prevents any potential for rot which might arise from humidity collecting on the bunches during the cooler nights of the late summer and early autumn.
Harvest / ‘La Vendange’
Grapes are hand harvested in the early hours of the morning. This routine is to preserve freshness and acidity in the bunches by the time they are returned to the winery no later than 9am each day. It reduces the need for energy intensive chilling systems which would otherwise be required if grapes were picked during the day and had been heated by the Provençal sun.
De-stemming and Pressing
Bunches are mechanically de-stemmed, grapes are pressed and juice is allowed a short period of skin contact for the rosés which imparts a pale and enticing shade of pink.
Fermentation and Ageing
Fermentation and ageing takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks or oak barriques. With certain cuvées, a portion of the blend is allowed to rest on the lees to enhance the richness and texture of the wine.
Blending and Bottling
The varieties are carefully selected by Dale and the team to provide a particular characteristic to each wine, providing a level of consistency in style from one vintage to the next. Final blending for each wine generally takes place 4 weeks before bottling which is always carried out on site at the domaine.