Details of the Vinification

At Château de Pressac, priority is given to the grape varieties and the different kinds of soil. Thus, every fermentation vat corresponds to a particular vineyard plot. In this way, the vinification can be adjusted to the characteristic of the grapes within each one of the plots of vines.

 

THE FIRST MACERATION : 

Preparatory phase
This is a low temperature, pre-fermentation maceration lasting between 2 and 5 days. This maceration allows the extraction of colour and fruit aromas.

 

THE ALCOHOLIC FERMENTATION : 

Objective to achieve the correct balance
Fermentation takes place between 18°C and 20°C. The yeasts start their work of alcoholic fermentation, which involves the transforming of sugar into alcohol. The temperature of the contents of the fermentation vats (grapes with skin, pulp and pips) rises and the transformation begins to take place. Phases of pumping over and punching down are alternated. Depending on the vintage (the sugar level, the structure, the hours of sunshine, etc.) many different decisions are taken during fermentation and winemaking (vinification and subsequent maturation of the wine). Obviously, these will differ from year to year. The objective is is to achieve a balance between the amount of maceration and the punching down. It is by these processes, during the alcoholic fermentation, that the extraction of tannins occurs.

 

THE MACERATION DURING THE ALCOHOLIC FERMENTATION :

Encourages exchange
Sugar is transformed into alcohol. The skins are left to macerate in the new wine and the tannins are allowed to “dissolve” into the wine.

 

THE RUNNINF OFF OF THE WINE : 

Separates the different components
The running off of the wine takes place after a period of maceration ranging from 3 to 4 weeks. The fermentation vats are drained naturally and this results in the free run wine. The skin, pips and solids (called the pomace of the wine) will then be pressed to obtain the so called “press wine”. The date of the running off is determined by daily tastings to verify the level of tannin extraction during the maceration in order to avoid the over extraction of rustic and bitter tannins, which could spoil the quality and the taste of the wine.

 

THE FIRST PRESS : 
The first press is delicate and gentle and therefore the resulting wine has virtually the same characteristics as the free run wine. This first press wine is lodged in new oak barrels and is carefully kept apart from the other wine.

THE SECOND PRESS : 
The second press creates a more rustic and bitter wine, due to the fact that it is a heavier, more intense press. Great care is taken not to extract tannins, which are too powerful or pronounced in taste, to avoid harshness and dryness in the wine.

 

THE FINAL BLEND : 

Mirrors the image of the vintage
Blending a wine involves the meticulous combining and blending of all the different vats of wine of a specific vintage. The exact combinations proceed from the intrinsic palette that the vintage has to offer. Thus, the first wine of Château de Pressac will be powerful, concentrated and ideally suited to long years of maturation; whereas the second label, in essence blended from wine from the younger vines of Pressac, will be more supple, pleasant and invitingly enjoyable.