Welcome to the Rousseau family, where we are pleased to invite you to share our passion: Winemaking.
We are located in the heart of Touraine on a pinot grape terroir where for the past forty years we have developed one of the smallest appellations of the Loire Valley, the Touraine Noble Joué and a wine named Malvoisie.
In this section, we are going present to you all the work we do, from the vineyard to the cellar, as the season progresses.
April suffered from frost late in the season, followed by a warm and dry beginning of summer. Finally, the end of the summer was more temperate with a bit of rain to perfect the maturation of grapes.
This translated into early harvesting (starting from the 5th of September) of grapes full of sugar, which kept an aromatic freshness typical of wines from Loire Valley.
From Friday, March 13, to Monday, March 23, 2015, inclusive.
From 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Wine tasting open to the public of the 2014 vintage accompanied by slices of bread and spreads…
Monday, September 16, 2013
2013 is a special year, after a cold and rainy spring, vegetation took far behind. But the months of July and August were exceptional which allowed the vineyard/grapes to grow quickly. Now we expect to begin harvest in early October to reach full maturity, which is about 10 days later than in a normal year.
Another consequence, flowering has unrolled when it was cold, which had the effect of having a diversity of grapes on the same vine stock. So we remove all grapes that are late.
The good thing is that we have enough time to prepare the vineyard before harvest by practicing stripping and thinning for the sun and the wind allows us to obtain a qualitative harvest.
Friday, April 19, 2013
We installed in the vineyards capsules containing pheromones that the son was suspended along the vines (about 500 by hectares).
These pheromones mimic the hormonal scent of female moths.
It saturates the vine and female pheromones and it will be very difficult for males to find females to mate. We have very few eggs, so caterpillars.
A capsule containing pheromones.
This is a natural fight against worms cluster and avoid all insecticides.
These grape worms commonly called cochylis and eudemis are predators for the vine because in May and June, they consume flower buds (small clusters before flowering), and in July and August, they enter in the grapes and offer a door input to rot, which affects the quality of the crop but also the quantity.
Distribution of capsules.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
After an August that was sunny and dry, September and October arrived to make the maturation of this vintage a bit exceptional.
Quality and quantity in perfect harmony, rarely seen in the life of winemakers. Potential alcohol contents range from 12.5% to 14.7% for our Noble Joué or the various reds (Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Côt). The first pick of Malvasia was done in mid-October with contents from 15.8% to 17.4% and we will start the second pass over the vines next week, because the beautiful weather will come back starting on Monday and the noble rot has returned following the humidity of the last few days.
As for the fermentations, everything looks good. They are developing well; the last tanks of Noble Joué will finish transforming their sugars into alcohols at the end of next week. For the malvasia and the malbec, the process is a bit longer. The yeasts have a harder time working since the temperatures of the tanks are deliberately kept lower.
The pinot noir, the first red grape to be harvested, is starting its malolactic fermentation (natural 2nd fermentation of wines).
The sparkling wines are kept in cold tanks so that they keep the natural sugar in view of the 2nd fermentation in the bottle (traditional method).
Clearly, 2009 should be a fine vintage that is rich, bold and full of fruit. To enjoy in moderation from our open house in March 2010.
The dry weather we experienced in April severely limited the removal of weeds, but last week around 20 mm of rain fell here and we are starting to see the first sprouts.
It is time to move the inter-vine hoe blades to work only the top few centimeters of the soil and destroy those weeds and we are also able to grind along the grass in the middle of row at the same time. 2 actions in 1 pass. This system also allows us to avoid using weed killer, and thus we work towards leaving clean soil to future generations.
To best prepare for the harvest, we are currently removing the grappillons (2nd generation bunches that bloomed late and will never be fully ripe), and regarding the malvasia, we also remove the leaves in front of the bunches so that the sun allows a greater concentration of berries.
Even though this work is slow, it allows the grapes to turn into raisins more easily. Furthermore, thanks to this, the pickers are more likely to select bunches that must be collected at the first pick from those that should be left on the vine for a longer time for better sugar concentration.
In spring we planted a few rows of flowers, including starthistles, cosmos, zinnias, zinnia, chrysanthemum. And now the show is wonderful; not only are the flowers exploding in color but the wildlife that lives in and around them is intense.
This is one example of the beautification of the vineyard as well as development of wildlife that is more important for better regulation of the insects who may be a friend or an enemy of the vineyard.
This is the operation that consists in removing the excess twigs from the vine and the stray buds (2nd bud on the same sprout). This work prevents the vegetation from piling up and allows a better ventilation for future bunches.
This task is a delicate one because it conditions the amount of the harvest and pruning for the next year.
Between the showers of April, we removed the earth under the young vines and we scraped the soil to refine it, which will help to sow grass as soon as the ground warms back up.
The weather is finally nice and we were able to sow the bluegrass in the young vines planted last year as above and in the vines where there was the natural grass that we removed.
This is also the time to mow the grass to make the vines less sensitive to frost because the grass always maintains a certain moisture, making the buds close by more frost-prone.
Sales of the 2008 vintage have started, which means that we have to label the bottles and put them in their boxes. Alice and Catherine handle these tasks as we receive sales and orders for the cellar.
Approximately every two weeks, we must fill the barrels because the wood is porous. This action lets in very small amounts of oxygen, making the tannins of the wine softer and rounder and allow the bouquets to develop slowly. The only drawback is that the tank "drinks" because the wine seeps through and there is a slight evaporation that is pleasantly called "the angels' share".
After the end of November, we started the pruning, which means that we are at the start of a new vegetative cycle for the vineyard and the preparation of a new vintage.
This starts with a pre-pruning with a machine to cut the vine shoots under the top wire.
This is followed by manual labor, the time to think about the choice of wood that will allow for the future harvest, the amount of sprouts, the positioning of the stick, etc.
The quality of the next harvest is already starting at this level.
The snow in Touraine was exceptional for a week, so we spent plenty of time outside with the clippers in hand...
It's long and hard work, but it is made much easier with the use of electric clippers.
The vine shoots left in the ground will then be ground up and will provide humus.
Then, as we perform the pruning, we fold and tie the sticks on the bottom wire about 40 cm from the ground to allow a uniform growth of future buds.
Once the warm weather returns, we can begin to replace the dead vines by planting young vines that will produce grapes in three years. Increasingly, fungi (esca, eutypa dieback, etc.) gnaw the heart of the vines and prevent the sap from passing; this is the "cancer" of the vine.
We make a hole with an auger and we protect the vine with a "hood" to avoid damage from hares and rabbits.
In the cellar, there is excitement as we must filter the wines before bottling (except for the L'Automnale, which after a rest for 1 year in barrels is perfectly clear).
The filtration is tangential, i.e. the wine is passed only through an organic membrane.
From the harvest to the bottling, everything is done to remove oxygen, the natural enemy of wine. Each transfer of tanks is made under nitrogen to avoid putting in too much sulfur, which protects from oxidation.