The production of two of our wines, our cuvée “Dernière Cueillette” (“Last Picking”) and our sparkling wine “Méthode Traditionnelle de l’Arjolle”, are closely linked to each other.
Mid-August, we normally start harvesting by picking some 70% of the grapes from a Chardonnay plot planted in 1985. After a whole bunch pressing, the juice of these early picked, particularly fresh and fruity grapes is fermented for three quarters in steel tanks and for one quarter in oak barrels to enhance fullness and aromatic complexity of the wine.
Once fermentation has finished, the wines are blended and are filled into “champagne-type” bottles for a secondary “in-bottle” fermentation to effect carbonation. After 12 months of aging on lees, disgorging to remove these lees from the bottle and prepare the bottles for shipping is considered.
Finally, the wine to celebrate your great moments is finished!
Meanwhile, the remaining grapes in the same vineyard of Chardonnay (about 30%) slowly become over-ripe during late season. Concentrated by the sun, they take a nice golden color and develop full and intense flavors. Harvesting of these grapes, the last picking at the Domaine de l’Arjolle, normally takes place in October, and fermentation is done in French oak barrels.
In spring, the barrels are stored outside without topping* to favourize the development of a yeast layer on top of the wines, that both protects them and produces the specific aromas of walnuts and hazelnuts, of this wine.
The bottling takes place in early winter and further ripening will continue for another 6 months.
With good aging potential you will enjoy the “Dernière Cueillette” on foie gras, poultry with cream and different cheeses: Comté, Beaufort, Salers ...
These two wines demonstrate the diversity of wines you may produce, according to ripeness of the grapes and the choice of vinification.