The work, much of which is done by hand, begins among the vines. It is labour-intensive and requires meticulous care. A simple Guyot pruning and rubbing out unwanted buds are designed to restrict yield.
Olivier and Corinne Merlin use no herbicides or artificial fertilisers. The prefer to use the plough (horse-drawn for the Moulin à Vent) and to add compost. "Our production rules are very strict." Mechanical trimming takes place on infrequently. Picking is by hand, in cases, and only when the plot is fully mature so that the fruit reaches the vatting house in the best possible condition.
- Vinification - white wines
The grapes from each plot are pressed and vinified separately. After a light racking the juice is run off into oak barrels for fermentation. Careful elevage follows, on fine lees. When alcoholic fermentation is complete, the wine is stirred once a week to keep the lees in suspension. The aim is to add body and richness to the wine. The second, or malolactic, fermentation follows naturally. The wine is then perfectly stable prior to bottling. Finings are not used, and after being lightly filtered through diatomite (Kieselguhr), or sometimes without any filtration, bottling takes place at the domaine.
- Vinification - red wines
The red grapes pass over two sorting tables, one vibratory, the other a conveyor-belt, to select the best of the crop.
Téléphone: 03 85 36 62 09 - Fax: 03 85 36 66 45 - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - Internet: http://www.merlin-vins.com