At Domaine du Paternel, the harvests run from the end of August to the middle of October. This is the time that is needed to harvest all eight varieties that we grow at their perfect level of maturity.

 

We harvest all fifty hectares by hand. The marsanne grapes, the earliest to ripen, are the opening act at harvest time. Then it is the turn of the sauvignon blanc, grenache, ugni blanc, clairette, cinsault and bourboulenc. Mourvedre, the last to ripen, are the closing act. The bunches are laid in small tubs so as not to damage them. Picking only happens in the morning at the coolest part of the day. By so doing, the grapes keep the best of their aromatic potential all the way to the cellar.
From the moment of their arrival, the bunches are destemmed to remove the fruit from unwanted stalks. Grapes destined for white and rosé wines are then chilled and directed to one of our three pneumatic presses where they are gently pressed. Then, each varietal is vinified separately in thermo-regulated tanks at a constant temperature of 16°c. This control protects the juice for white and rosé wine, which is very fragile at this stage. This is how we maintain finesse and precision in our wine making process.
The fermentation takes one month. After this time begins the slow clarification over which the wines gain structure and aromatic complexity. After the first months of winter, they are combined to create our different blends (the cuvées).
The reds are made by blending mourvedre and grenache. Hand-picked and then destemmed, they rest in tanks under must for three weeks. They are then matured for twelve months in barrels where they will slowly age and refine. In 2012 we built a new vinification cellar as an extension of the existing cellar, raised and increased in size. The grapes are gravity-fed into the tanks without any additional handling or processing. In this way they are kept as whole and undamaged as possible. This extension has also allowed us to invest in stainless steel tanks.