In the vineyard, Jean Baptiste keeps a close eye on the vines and works with nature, nursing and encouraging quality fruit without using herbicides or artificial fertilisers. Each vine is allowed to bear only a few bunches of grapes so that the plant can bring the fruit to maximum ripeness and concentrate the flavours. Any excess bunches are cut off and, in September, the vine leaves are thinned by hand where necessary to allow the grapes to ripen properly.
Moulin de la Gardette winery >
Below, Mourvedre grapes ready for picking
When at peak ripeness, grapes are harvested by hand and taken to the modern winery that Jean Baptiste built on the property in 2003. After destemming, the fruit is gently fed into temperature-controlled cement fermentation tanks which offer just enough porosity to allow a tiny atmospheric exchange with the fermenting wine that encourages the rich traditional character, while maintaining full, mouth-watering fruitiness. During fermentation, the must is treated with great care - mechanical pumping is especially avoided to preserve the delicate flavours and aromas of the developing wine.
When all the sugars are fermented out, the tanks are capped for a few days further maceration and then the juice pressed. Malolactic fermentation happens in the wine's own good time, either in the autumn or later when the winery warms up in the Spring.
Fermentation tanks >
After fermentation, the wine is matured in old Burgundian oak barriques, and the Gigondas wine we know is made by the careful assemblage of flavour and character from the classic Rhone grape varieties‚ Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault.
The results are classic, big Gigondas wines - full bodied, ripe and rich in fruit but with length, complexity and an elegance that expresses not just this unique location, the climate and the soils, but the traditions and loving care of grower and winemaker.
< Moulin de la Gardette Gigondas maturing in barrel