All of the Domaine Clos de la Chapelle vineyards are in the process of becoming organic and biodynamic. Among other guidelines, this means:
· Soil is ploughed 3 times per year;
· Spraying occurs only with contact products; no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used;
· De-budding occurs to control yield, limiting to 4 shoots for a maximum yield of 35hl/ha;
· 500 P - cow-horn manure for biodynamic treatment is applied in the beginning of winter and in mid-May; and
· Copper treatments of 700g are applied; (6kg/year maximum allowed to retain biodynamic status).
· The soil was not too compacted when we purchased the vineyards, and it is reacting quickly and positively to the biodynamic conversion.
· We practice a single Guyot pruning, and are working towards lowering the vine height.
Our first complete vintage in 2011 was 100% de-stemmed, continuing the practice of the prior owners. However, searching for further depth and authentic character in the wines, 25% whole cluster fermentations will be used in appropriate vintages in the future.
All of the wines were treated the same way in 2011, as we did not yet know the individual parcels well enough yet to determine if different treatments were needed. Our processes include:
· Sorting table
· Cold-maceration for 6 to 7 days
· Indigenous yeast
· One punch-down/day
· Temperatures brought up slightly
· Three week maceration
· 1st pressing at 0.6 bars
· 24 to 48 hour settling
· 30% new oak with medium toast Allier barrels (the same barrels Boillot used, to keep consistency in the style)
· Only 1 racking
· No fining or filtering