After several years of observing our vineyards, we are more than ever convinced that every terroir seeks to express the character of its landscape, its soils and its climate through the wines we make. Our task and responsibility as winemakers is therefore not limited to cultivating vines, but above all to creating and maintaining a harmonious natural environment from which the cultures feed.
We have found this harmony in organic and biodynamic farming, which we have been practicing for several years in Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Over the past year, we have completed the adaptation of our winery to this way of working: a new winery and several small truncated cone shaped fermentation tanks made of stainless steel allow a separate processing of the grapes depending on their origin. After arriving in the cellar, the harvested material passes through a sorting table to the “Delta Oscillys”, an apparatus that destemmes the grapes by means of vibration. A particularly gentle procedure that guarantees the integrity of the grapes. Grapes finally go into the fermentation tanks by gravity, where they are subject to a long cold maceration before being fermented by natural yeasts. The finished wines mature for up to 18 months in concrete tanks, wooden vats or in terracotta jars, depending on their character and requirements. This natural production process makes it possible to respect the individuality of each terroir and vintage.
2017 was therefore a key year for Santa Duc, but also for Benjamin, who this year took over the cellar from his father. Despite the lower yields on Grenache, mainly due to the hot weather during flowering and the resulting coulure, the harvest quality was more than satisfactory. Rainfalls in June and the end of August ensured sufficient water reserves in the soil, so that the vines showed no drought stress and the grapes came slowly and with regularity to full maturity. The fermentations in the new cellar went very harmoniously, so that the wines can start their maturation with serenity by the end of the year.