Vinification is a magical moment when we get a first real hint of what the vintage will be like. Despite years of experience each year is a voyage of discovery. Our profession is really exciting at this time of year and we wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Vatting lasts around 10 days. We pump the run-off juice from the bottom of the vat over the cap twice a day.

During this time we taste the fruit of our labour every day to see how the wine is evolving and to decide when to de-vat. This also allows us to nip any possible problems in the bud.


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We also “grid” some vats, meaning we hold the cap of floating bunches down below the liquid level with a wooden or plastic grid (see photos).

We place the grids (photo 1) at the beginning of fermentation after having removed the run-off juice. We replace the juice (photo 2) and we remove the grids just before pressing at the end of vatting (photo 3).






   After having pumped out the run-off juice, we open the vat  




                            Fermented grapes

After around 10 days we press. We open the vat and the grapes are sent to the press along a conveyor. One of us goes into the vat (see photos), you have to be careful with the CO2 given off by fermentation. But it’s really quite pleasant to be in the aromas and warmth given off by the fermented grapes.



                                  Éric emptying a vat


                     Chantal emptying a vat

Once the press is full we start to squeeze the grapes. Here in the Beaujolais region we call the resulting, slightly alcoholic, quite sweet juice that is bursting with aromas "paradis".




      Chantal and Michel filling the press