HISTORY

Completely controlled vinification :

For Frédéric Brochet, technology never stops developing and must be adapted to the requirements of each vintage, variety and the wishes of the winemaker. There is no fixed methodology but an alchemy unique to each cuve.  Also it is technology that serves Nature and not the other way round.  In the chai, nothing is left to chance (except the very good surprises !).  This scientific expertise enables one to go even further in the search for that purety already in the heart of the grapes.  

- Controlling the temperature, is essential to the proper release of compounds in the grapes during maceration and alcoholic fermentation and grapes picked at night do best.  

- Managing oxidation is another element highly controlled at Ampelidae as a factor that is essential to the quality. The oxygen in all the cuves is controlled.  All pressing is done under nitrogen thanks to the latest technology and bottling is also carried out under nitrogen.  

- The administration of sulphites  is always problematic in winemaking as it is an essential chemical additive.  At Ampelidae, it is the only chemical additive. It is absolutely essential in Sauvignon because the aromas of the grapes (which give the characteristic notes of grapefruit, box and exotic fruit)  are extremely sensitive to oxidation.  SO2 gives in effect a double protection :  against both oxidation and against the micro organisms that threaten the wine’s quality and balance (bacteria, contaminating yeasts like Brettanomyces,…). We reduce the use of SO2 to an absolute minimum as a result of keeping constant control of the oxygen and researching winemaking procedures in inert conditions whether with nitrogen or carbon dioxide…). Sterile filtration (elimination of germs)  will in the end be a strong ally in avoiding sulphites in the bottling process.  Thanks to these technological advances the Ampelidae white wines never have any more than 80mg/l  SO2 total (the limit imposed by legislation being 200 mg/l) and the reds are nearer to 30mg/l (maximum authorised level: 150 mg/l).

- The choice of cuves  is also thought about in great detail : there is the choice of different material (stainless steel or concrete) and different capacity and all the cuves are followed very closely by computer which controls the temperature using electrovannes. Systematically the fermentation in each cuve is carefully watched from the lab just as each parcel of vines is tended.

 The chief of operations can intervene at any moment in the cuves and watches a number of parameters such as sugar levels, oxidation, and others that are classified and make up the secret know how of the house. On the subject of fermentation, the wine for certain cuvées is fermented in barrels.

 For these cuvées, the wines mature there for 3 to 18 months, in differing wood, light to encourage nuances of spice and strong for notes of grilling and chocolate. The cellar which is dug into the turonian chalk 12 metres below the surface and has a constant temperature between 9 and 15°, creates favourable humidity to keep the barrels airtight.

Coming out of barrel, the wine is no longer incognito – it is bottled and labelled with its vintage in the time honoured way.  

As far as corks are concerned, we still use  traditonal corks for some cuvées but we also use screw tops (Stelvin Lux, in recyclable aluminium) as the most sensible option. Considering that often his wines only have one chance to make a good impression, Frédéric Brochet has decided not to risk the wine being corked. Far from the old fashioned stoppers of our parents’ generation, todays screw tops are the most effective for fine wines and particularly those that are sensitive to oxidation.  With screw tops, Sauvignon keeps its freshness and aromatic intensity for years without risk of alteration.

Frédéric Brochet has great respect for terroir and the consumer, and guarantees wines free from residues and additives and from organic soil (certificates to prove it !), wines that are « best in terms of taste, best for health  and best for the planet. ».