As soon as they have been picked, the grapes are taken by truck and quickly pressed to avoid any oxidation of the juice. The white must is very sensitive to oxidation and this is prevented by the immediate addition of sulphur dioxide
"Clarifying the Must"
The grape juice has to be clarified to allow the different aromas to develop in the wine. This is carried out just after the pressing, and in our winery this is done by allowing the juice to settle. The most efficient method in terms of quality is to let the biggest particles fall to the bottom of the tank, a process which takes from 12 to 24 hours at a temperature of between 14 and 18°C. The resulting sediment is sent directly to the distillery.
Alcoholic fermentation is the transformation of sugar to alcohol through the action of natural yeast, with heat and carbon dioxide gas as by-products. To ensure fermentation the temperature must be kept between 20 and 22°C and all our fermenting tanks are temperature-controlled. The alcoholic fermentation stage lasts for about ten days.
"Malolactic or Secondary Fermentation"
This refers to the transformation of malic acids to lactic acids, and is a process not normally used in the making of white wines, where a fresher taste due to higher acidity is desirable. Some white wines, and especially Chablis, however, can benefit from the process which will give a richer and more rounded product.