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Our 190 m2 wine-making cellar contains numerous stainless-steel tanks. These tanks of differing volume allow us to vinify our different plots of vines separately and to adapt our actions according to the grape varieties and their maturity. The harvest is hand-picked and the grapes are collected into small crates.
After significant and immediate sorting of the grapes (organised outside in the vineyard), a further selection is possible in the cellar to perfect it. Thus, nothing other than good quality grapes are channeled into the tanks. We have 15 squat tanks (with varying volumes from 10 to 127 hl) with large surface areas, which are not completely filled, so that contact between the grape skins, the developing wine and the must is maximized. Consequently we can easily extract colour and tanins from the grape skins. The wine-making process, including alcoholic fermentation and post-fermentation maceration, last from 20 to 35 days depending on the grape variety and the maturity obtained at harvest time.
Experience and regular tastings help us to decide how long the maceration should lasts. At the end of this first part, the tanks are racked, the wine is pumped into oak barrels and the malolactic fermentation starts. The remaining grape skins in the tanks are pressed to extract the wine “press” which is also pumped into separate oak barrels and kept apart for a few months. We use an old but very good wine press which allows us to reduce the rate of the lees and then to start refining the wine.
Built with local stone, our cool and dark cellar, containing oak barrels, stands next to the vat-house. The barrels are organized into small groups to allow us to separate all the different types of wine varieties from the various tanks.
We believe that blending should not take place too soon after the malolactic fermentation. If we wait until spring it is easier to assess each batch of wine. The character, quality and styles of the different batches then become more recognizable, and, in consequence, our blendings are more effective.
The wood for our barrels comes from the best French oak. We work with 5 different coopers in order to convey as much complexity as possible to our wines. However, we do not want our wine to be dominated by wood notes. The keyword is balance ! We use oak-ageing to give our wines a smoother structure and to reveal their fruity aromas.
The turnover of our oak barrels varies according to the different wines. We use up to 40% of new oak depending on the tannin strength of the wine concerned. Even if we think that an excellent grape requires very little to become a great wine, oak-ageing needs to be managed with precision to reach the final target : a well-balanced wine !
Our wines are kept in 600-bottle storage units, sheltered from light and changes in temperature, ready to be prepared for shipment.
When we receive an order, we have to wash and dry every bottle of wine, then cap, label and finally pack them into wooden cases. As we wish to prepare a perfect bottle, we have recently invested in a brand new specialized machine. The result is an impeccable Château Mille Roses bottle !
To be savoured and enjoyed !