Once the grapes have reached maturity, they are harvested exclusively by hand and put into small containers to prevent any damage to the fruit before vinification. The bunches are then sorted in a quasi-surgical manner, because a clean harvest and an appropriate maturity are essential in our quest for quality during the vinification. A year of respectful farming ensures that the grapes arrive in the winery from the vines in the best possible condition.
Each growing season, whether for pruning, plowing, or canopy management, we always support our vines by adapting to its cycle and vegetative stages. Each generation of winegrowers on the estate has respected the rhythm of the vine within the season.
Since the 1980s, all the plots have been worked in accordance with principles of organic viticulture and within the guidelines of the A.B. (Agriculture Biologique) label: without chemical fertilizers, synthetic products or weedkillers. We prefer to compost and carry out surface plowing in our vines in order to keep the soils alive. Likewise, for the protection of the vineyard, we use non-aggressive treatments, thus preserving the indigenous yeasts living on the grape bunches and the organisms in the soil. Our vines have been certified by Ecocert since 2004.
After a quick yet careful delivery from the vineyard to the cellar, the grapes are then cooled in refrigerated trucks. Later the whole cluster bunches are moved into a vat. We practice a “semi-carbonic” maceration, meaning a vinification in which the majority of the berries remain intact and are then saturated with CO2 inside of a closed vat. In this atmosphere, the enzymatic activity manages to start the fermentation. This long maceration will have the effect of transmitting the red color of the grape skin to the white juice. As the acids begin to break down the berries, a broad spectrum of aromatics are created. All this activity takes place before the wine begins to ferment its sugar into alcohol!
At Domaine Lapierre, all stages of winemaking are done with a delicate touch with minimal movements of the grape bunches and juice. We keep close observation over each vat as we check the temperatures and densities several times a day in order to understand the behavior of each tank.
Our grapes are a product of organic farming. We vinify with grace using indigenous yeasts and as far as possible without adding sulfur. In all cases, we will never have recourse to use chemical additives or any other interventions such as acidification, chaptalization, or the addition of enzymes or other inputs for which the list continues to grow.
During winemaking and part of the aging process, we observe the microbiological activity of our fermentations under microscope and continue to have our vintages analyzed daily. Our winery is constantly under close surveillance: we check, smell and taste each cuvée relentlessly!
Once the first phase of maceration is complete after approximately 9 to 35 days, depending on the plot and the vintage, our Morgon finishes its fermentation in used barrels where it then continues aging. The aim of this step is mainly the natural clarification of the wine because the shape, material and volume of the barrel make it one of the most effective tools of natural filtration by allowing the lees to settle on their own.
When ready, our wines will be racked and then placed back in vats before bottling. Our blends are never filtered so as not to strip the wine of its color and aromas. Some batches will receive a light dose of sulfur especially if destined for international markets. Our wine marked ’N’ for Nature is bottled “sans soufre” or without sulfur and is thus offered without any additives.