Making our Wines

• Clairette de Die tradition : The 'Méthode Dioise Ancestrale'


1. 
Harvest and reception into the winery 
pressing and filtering the grapes 
 
Harvesting takes place in September and October. We pick our grapes by hand so that theyremain in peak condition. The grapes are then delivered to the press and are lightly crushed to extract the juice, which is then clarified (by a process of débourbage) and filtered.
2. 
Partial Fermentation 
in refrigerated tanks 
 
The filtered juice is transferred into refrigerated stainless steel vats at a very low temperature. Initial fermentation occurs in these tanks, driven by the grapes’ natural (indigenous) yeasts. These give the wine an unmistakeable flavour of terroir.
3. 
Blending
 
 
The resulting wines are then blended. This is an art in itself, performed by our oenologist and maîtres de chais, who skilfully combine wines made from different vineyard parcels or from the two different grape varieties – Muscat Blanc Petits Grains (for flavour) and Clairette Blanche (for freshness and complexity)..

4.
Tirage and Prise
de mousse

The semi-fermented juice (4-5% alcohol) is bottled without the addition of liqueur de tirage, a sugar and yeast blend. Secondary fermentation is induced purely by the residual sugars and yeasts within the grapes. Secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle, in a refrigerated cellar where the wine stays for 6 – 12 months. Pressure inside the bottle halts fermentation naturally before all the sugar has been converted.
5.
Disgorging
and bottling 
 
Once secondary fermentation is finished, the wine is transferred into the bottles in which it will be sold. Sediment is removed by cold filtration and bottles are topped up without the addition of ‘liqueur d’expédition’.

6.
Tirage 
and packaginig 
 

After tirage, the bottles are corked and a wire cage is fitted to contain the fizzy contents of the bottle. Labels are added and the bottles are packaged..

 

 

• Crémants : The traditional method


1. 
Harvest and reception into the winery  
pressing and filtering the grapes 
 
Harvesting takes place in September and October. We pick our grapes by hand so that they remain in peak condition. The grapes are then delivered to the press and are lightly crushed to extract the juice, which is then clarified (by a process of débourbage) and filtered. 150kg of grapes give 100 litres of juice.
2. 
Tank fermentation 
 and blending


Unlike the méthode ancestrale, fermentation occurs in one place only, rather like a traditional white wine – inside a temperature controlled tank between 12 and 20°C. This gives a dry white wine, called a base wine, which is subsequently blended. This is an art in itself, performed by our oenologist and maîtres de chais, who skilfully combine wines made from different vineyard parcels or grape varieties. This is a key part of the process, giving each of the Crémants their own individual character..

3.
Tirage and prise
de mousse

Secondary
fermentation (prise de mousse’) takes place in the bottle, with the addition of a liqueur de tirage made up of yeast and a small amount of sugar, as required. The bottles remain in the cellar for a period of 12 months to 3 years, to age on their lees. It is during this stage that the wine takes on its roundness and characteristic flavours

4. 
Automated Remuage 

Towards the end of their long resting period, the wine undergoes a process of riddling (‘remuage’) which involves tilting the bottle so sediment gathers in the neck. This process used to be performed manually, but is now automated..
5.
Disgorging and 'Dosage'  
The bottle neck containing the yeasts and impurities is frozen at a temperature of -20°C. When the cap is removed, the pressure of the wine sends the ice shooting out. To top up the space left by the plug of ice, a liqueur d’expédition is added, made up of wine and an amount of sugar, depending on whether the wine is to be a brut or a demi-sec.

6. 
Packaging  

The bottles are corked and wire cages fitted to contain the fizzy contents of the bottle. Labels are added and the bottles are packaged.
 
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