In the cellar
Château La Borie produces prestigious red wines and one rosé which reflect modern tastes but preserve the supple tanins for which Rhone Valley wines are reknowned. The constant search for quality can be measured by the quantity of awards obtained by our wines.
The harvest is carried out mechanically, beginning generally at the end of September and ending mid- October. .
Mechanical harvesting has a qualitative and an economic advantage. Qualitative:
It allows us to harvest on a precise day, at a precise hour. We avoid harvesting during the hottest part of the day in order to vat the grapes at a lower temperature.
The delay between cutting the grapes and vatting them is kept to the bare minimum which reduces the risk of oxidation.
Technological progress now allows us to completely destem and the grapes are sorted directly on the harvesting machine.
The arrival of the grapes in the Cellar
Each grape variety is fermented separately.
Thanks to our warm dry climate and to the strong dominating wind ((the «Mistral»), sorting is reduced to a minimum.
Destemming by the harvesting machine allows us to refine and soften the tannins left in the wine.
A special dosing device is used to directly inject sulfur dioxide into the distribution column. This allows us to reduce the amount of SO2 used by half, but still maintain a good protection against oxidizing. Each bottle of Chateau Borie wines contains only 50mg/l of Sulfites, which is less than half of the maximum amount allowed for organic wines.
Vatting and alcoholic fermentation
The sugar contained in the grape is transformed into alcohol by the natural action of selected yeasts.
The must is chilled, with the help of a water/wine cooler, in order to maintain a maximum temperature of 21°C. The circulation of cold water through a chilling device in the vats regulates the temperature.
A pumping over is carried out twice a day.
At each stirring, the must passes through the cooler to control the temperature while spraying the must cap which helps to extract the aroma, the tannins and the coloring agents.
When the density reaches 1030 we let the temperature rise to around 31°C in order to extract the most interesting phenolic components.
Vatting lasts a minimum of one week and can often continue up to 3 or 4 weeks.
We proceed to draw off the wine when all the sugar has been transformed into alcohol, and when tasted, that the right degree of tannin is obtained.
The free-run wine is then separated from the must and
the must is transferred to the wine press.
A pneumatic wine press guarantees a gentle pressing for the must.
These press-wines are vinified separately.
In this process, lactic acid bacteria breaks down the malic acid which is naturally present in the wine.
Thanks to our warm climate, the temperature of the wines in the cellar remains high, thus allowing the malolactic fermentation process to proceed rapidly. In general the process is finished by the end of November.
Monitoring and controls
As soon as the must arrives in the winery we begin to analyze it.
The first analysis provides us with the following information: sugar content which allows us to estimate the potential alcohol level, PH, total acidity, SO2 dosage, assimilated azote
Afterwards each vat is analyzed regularly. The staff at the University of Suze la Rousse supports our entire winemaking process.
The final blending
From tasting the grape berries to determine the optimal harvest date, to daily tasting of each vat, Jerome Margnat is able to memorize the sensorial profile of each tank.
This allows him to begin to imagine different blending possibilities: a period of discovery where the magic between man and wine is born.
Several blending trials are carried out between the months of November and December, where different proportions of each grape variety and the proportion of wines from the press are tested. The final decision is taken in December. Once each wine blend is determined, human intervention is finished, only time will make a difference.
The ultimate step will be the bottling, which is carried out 6 to 12 months later…
The Côtes du Rhône generic blends are aged in vats.
The red fruit aromas are preserved.
The wine is well structured, yet easy to drink with round and smooth tannins.
It can be drunk rapidly, yet it also has good ageing potential.
For the large majority, the Rhône Villages blends are aged in vats.
The soft tannins are well sustained. The aromas are more complex. The color is more profound. The wine is aged longer.
It can be drunk early, but its ageing potential is high.