Know-how for every season
Whether the wine is a Nouveau, a full-bodied Cru or a wine to cellar, Beaujolais can only be given life by the hands of the winemaker. Different jobs come and go with the seasons: winter is for pruning, next comes budding in the spring, then tying up, trimming and, depending on the year, thinning that starts in July.
From after the harvest, that is generally manual, the winemaker uses a vinification method called "Beaujolais", during which the bunches of grapes are vatted whole.
The characteristic feature of this type of vinification is then down to a combination of complex fermentative phenomena (semi-carbonic fermentation, intra-cellular fermentation) and jobs carried out by the winemaker (pressing, pumping the run-off juice over the cap, assembly). Each of these stages contributes to the signature of each winemaker on his wine. It's the same thing for the length of time the grapes are vatted. When vatting is short, at from 4 to 5 days for Nouveau wines, it gives fresh, easy-to-drink, flavourful wine. But beware! Racking must be carried out at exactly the right time. If it's too early the wine is over light in body and lacks colour. If it's too late the tannins are too hard and astringent.
The wines to lay down are just as exacting, with vatting lasting for from 8 to 12 days. Some cuvées then spend a few months in oak barrels, the resulting wines are more complex, retaining the fruitiness of the Gamay grape without giving way to overly oaky flavours.