The harvest generally begins from mid-September, first with the Merlot and then the Cabernet Franc and the Cabernet Sauvignon.
The use of our harvesting machine allows us to pick each plot at its optimum maturity: the grapes are then carefully sorted before being crushed and gently pumped into 14 temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. We are thus able to manage each plot individually, adapting the vinification to the content of each vat.
The alcoholic fermentation lasts around one week, during which we perform daily ‘pump-overs’ and ‘rack and returns’ as often as necessary to extract the colour and polyphenols from the grape skins. The temperature is maintained at a maximum of 26°C, to preserve the aromas characteristic of each variety.
Once the alcoholic fermentation is completed, the vats are closed for 2 or 3 weeks, giving the skins time to free more colour and subtle tannins. Daily tastings are carried out to decide the end of this maceration period and the right time to perform the ‘running off’:
The ‘free run wine’ is run out of the vat by gravity. The ‘press wine’ is made by carefully pressing the different layers of pomace (skins and pips) and is sent directly into the barrels. The malolactic fermentation then takes place, mostly in vats, and after this step we can organise the blending of the different grape varieties. In December, Eric Boissenot, our consultant œnologist, accompanies us in this delicate operation that will lead to the birth of the vintage’s wines : Château Fontesteau, our flagship product, Château PIMORIN, Messire de Fontesteau and ‘Variation de Fontesteau’.
Each of these wines will undergo a different ageing process in our beautiful barrel cellar.
20 to 30 % of our barrels are renewed each year.
After maturing in the oak casks, the wines rest three more months in vats. Following the ‘fining’ (with egg white), the bottling is carried out on the property from may.
Château Fontesteau - 33250 Saint-Sauveur Médoc - France | Tél. +33 (0) 556 595 276
Mentions Légales | L'abus d'alcool est dangereux pour la santé