Each year more than 100 grape-pickers meet at the domain for around 15 days’ harvesting. Recognised for the quality of its wine, the Château des Tours is recognised equally for the quality of its welcome and accommodation, which allows the entire team to stay on site in the Château’s gîtes, which have been beautifully restored to retain the site’s authenticity.
The grapes are picked at optimal ripeness and selected and sorted in order to take the best of them to maceration. A stemmer is used to carefully separate the grapes from their stem and the grapes are then put into vats for a long maceration of 2 to 3 weeks, regularly pushing down the chapeau de marc (the cap of grape skins) into the juice, which we call pigeage, to improve circulation of the aromas and phenolic compounds.
This stage, inspired by Burgundian methods, helps to extract colour, body and fruit, without the bitter, drain-like flavours of the stems. Natural yeasts progressively lead to the birth of the wine, retaining all the qualities of the original terroir. After pneumatic pressing, the second fermentation can take place gently and slowly throughout the winter in vats housed in the heart of the Château at an ideal temperature.
In spring, when the wine is bien né or well born, bottling can start at the property to preserve the tannic structure and the wealth of dark fruit aromas with a hint of minerality typical of the terroir that underpins the aptness for ageing of Brouilly Château des Tours.
After an average of one year’s ageing in the Château’s cellars, the wines are ready to be put on the market and drunk… or can also be laid down for several more years for the more patient among us.