At Paloumey, past and present are combined on a daily basis. Sustainable practices in the vineyard, the harvests, vinification and maturing of the wines are all conducted with a respect for tradition, at the same time as embracing technical and oenological innovations.
Winegrowing is a fascinating profession, it is often difficult, and expertise and experience are essential if one is to grow good quality grapes and produce great wines. In addition to experience and patience, one has to have a keen sense of observation and the ability to respond quickly when required.
From November to March, double Guyot pruning enables the vines' natural vigour to be controlled and for the future quality of the harvest to be optimized. The new growth cycle starts and winegrowers adapt their work to the pace of the vines and the weather conditions.
The first buds appear in the spring, and we have to particularly wary of any frosts. "Suckers" are removed so as to protect the grape-bearing branches. Flowering begins: if the flowers are fertilized, they will turn into bunches of grapes.
With the arrival of summer, it can be vitally important to remove leaves on the east side and carry out green harvests in order to moderate each vine's productivity, while at the same time optimizing the grapes' qualitative development.
Then the grapes change colour: this signals the start of the ripening stage. Samples and tastings of the berries are organized every week from the end of August in order to establish the optimal harvest dates.
Each plot is harvested manually or by machine into small containers. Destemmed, the grapes are double sorted under our team's expert eye, so that only the best quality is used to make the wine.
Respect for the terroir, for the environment and for people are Vignobles Paloumey's priorities. In 1995, we made the decision to pursue sustainable agricultural practices for the vines and the soil, resulting in the stopping of the automatic application of preventive treatments.
Each plot is now treated on an individual basis; a sustainable viticulture consultant works with us, monitoring Paloumey's vines once a week during the growing season. Phytosanitary treatments are optimized and only carried out if the vines need them.
Vinification is carried out plot by plot, separating the grape varieties in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats of various sizes. Each batch is treated depending on its profile: this qualitative approach is necessary to understand and enhance the differences between the terroirs.
Once alcoholic and malolactic fermentation have finished, we proceed to the next stage: the blending of the wines. Successive tastings gradually determine the perfect proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The right blend of wines will be characterized by equilibrium, subtlety and complexity.
Now begins the period of traditional ageing in our cellars. For the next twelve months, the wines will reside in oak barrels, 30% of which are purchased new each year. The origin and nature of the oak is carefully selected, with "medium toast" barrels being chosen so as not to overpower the fruit.
Racking is carried out every three months: this is an important stage that involves drawing the wines off the lees and exposing them to a little oxygen. Finally, the wines are clarified and stabilized by being fined with egg whites, bringing an end to their year in the barrel.
The wines are bottled at the Château during June: a process that is scrupulously supervised in order to ensure compliance with all of the appropriate hygiene and technical standards. After resting over the summer, our bottles are ready to start their journeys all over the world to your tables.