Winemaking

Expressing the essence of each individual terroir

 

“We are continually experimenting and refining our vinification and ageing techniques in a perpetual quest to improve the quality of our wines. Each wine should express the essence of its particular terroir.” Norbert Buchonnet, cellar master.

 

Joseph Mellot is currently the only domain that vinifies all of the appellations from the Central vineyards of the Loire Valley. Some Joseph Mellot wines are made using grapes harvested from vineyards belonging to the domain, while others are made using grapes provided by winemaker partners. In both cases, Joseph Mellot expertise ensures the quality of vinification and a rigorous approach throughout the vinification and ageing processes.

 

When the grapes arrive at the winery they are subjected to meticulous checks. Passing through the destemming machine, they undergo an initial sorting that eliminates unwanted debris and removes any unripe berries. For the white wines, the grapes are then slowly pressed in pneumatic presses with the aim of extracting as pure a juice as possible. 

 

For the finest terroirs, the grapes are left to macerate in contact with their skins before being pressed. This delicate operation requires grapes that are in perfect health along with hourly checks to prevent any oxidation or premature fermentation. The juice is cold-settled at 10°C which allows a clear juice to be obtained, giving greater finesse to the wine. Vinification methods vary depending on the terroir, according to the typicity of each vineyard.Fermentation takes place over a period of 10 to 15 days at temperatures of between 17° and 20°c; any higher temperatures would detract from the wine’s aromatic qualities. The wine is then ready to be aged on fine lees in tanks.

 

Bottling takes place throughout the year, although wines are left to rest before departing for sale. For the red wines, after careful sorting of the harvest, the whole grapes are transferred to tanks. They are then macerated for 24 hours, a process which allows a considerable amount of flavour to be released. Fermentation lasts from 8 to 10 days with temperatures maintained between 25° and 30°C. The wine is aged and stored during the winter in either barrels or tanks. Bottling takes place in the spring after a light fining. The Joseph Mellot domain uses oak barrels to vinify wines from its exceptional terroirs. The juice ferments slowly for several months in underground cellars, enabling a subtle harmony to progressively develop between the wine and the barrels made of oak from the region’s forests (Saint-Palais and Allogny). These special cuvées represent the successful alliance of a grape variety, a terroir and expert vinification.