The juice is pumped over twice during the first days of alcoholic fermentation. Near the end of the alcoholic fermentation phase, a single anaerobic pumping-over operation is undertaken to close the first phase of vinification.
The harvest remains in vats for four to six weeks, depending on the vintage, in order to extract the colour, tannins and the various components of the wine.
Then, vat by vat, meaning variety by variety here at Fonbadet, the wine is run off and the marc is pressed using a century-old vertical Pépin-Coq press.
At this stage, the second fermentation (malolactic fermentation) has usually started naturally. We then wait another fifteen days at least, before blending the vats selected to craft our first wine, Château Fonbadet.
With Pascale Peyronie, oenologist Eric Boissenot embarks on the challenging yet fascinating adventure of the final blend. The wines are then transferred to oak barrels, in a barrel-cellar including 50% new oak for each vintage. This two-year turnover of the barrels allows us to best conserve the original identity of our great terroir and old vines. Barrel-ageing lasts 18 months at most and lends body, smoothness and elegance to Château Fonbadet wines.
Regular ullage and traditional racking without filtration are undertaken during the ageing process. Two years after the harvest, the wines are blended again, for enhanced mellowness.
After traditional fining with fresh egg-whites, the wines are bottled at the Château. Once bottled, they are laid down to rest for three months in a cellar, as an appropriate finishing touch to the great wines of Château Fonbadet.