At Catleya Estate, everything is put in place to harvest perfectly healthy, ripe grapes, rich in color, aromas and quality tannins every year.
Close to harvest, Laurent Pfeffer, our oenologist, regularly tastes the grapes of each variety and at the same time monitors through analysis the evolution of their maturity. Acid / sugar balance, quality of aromas, ease of color extraction, quality and level of ripeness of tannins and weather conditions are factors considered in choosing the harvest date.
Once the date is set, the grapes are harvested by hand by our teams and transported in small crates to the winery.
Vinification is the major stage where grape must becomes wine, where everything is put into place to understand and discover the potential of the vintage year.
Alcoholic fermentation is done with indigenous yeasts, naturally present on the grapes. This lasts 4-10 days.
During this period, the wines are tasted daily by the oenologist to determine the intensity and frequency of pumping. Through these operations, the colors, aromas and tannins are extracted from the skin of the grapes.
Once the alcoholic fermentation is complete, there is a post-fermentation maceration period in which the wine remains in contact with the pomace to maximize the extraction.
The wine obtained by dripping is then drained and the pomace is pressed.
These two wines, the drip wine and the press wine, of different qualities, are kept at a temperature of 20°C until the end of the malolactic fermentation.
White and rosé wine:
The white or red grapes for rosé are pressed after a short maceration in the press.
The recovered must is perfectly clarified before starting fermentation.
Fermentation is carried out at a low temperature, between 12 and 20°C, to obtain fruity and floral aromas.
To maintain the freshness of the aromas produced, the must and then the wine is protected from any contact with oxygen.
Once the wine is produced, it remains to shape its character. The action of time, wood, oxygen represent some of the key elements that help the winemaker in this activity.
When red wine has completed its malolactic fermentation, we are at the end of autumn.
The wine is then removed. The best lots are placed into oak barrels, and the fruitiest are stored in stainless steel tanks.
In barrels, the wine becomes more robust and complex. Natural oxygenation occurs through the wood staves in the barrel and intensifies the color. The wood also complements the wine’s aromas and enhances its tannic structure.
At Domain Catleya, red wines are kept between 12 and 24 months in barrels, and the barrels are used for a maximum of 3 years.
After fermentation, white and rosé wines are kept on their fine lees, which are stirred regularly. This method enhances the wine’s smoothness and also helps it to stabilize.
In early spring, the wines are racked and bottled quickly to preserve freshness and the intensiveness of flavors.