Use of naturally occurring yeasts only (the yeasts which develop on the skins of the grapes as they mature in the vineyard vs addition of commercial yeast to the juice after pressing to encourage fermentation)
Barrel-fermentation and aging – for a year or more prior to bottling.
Stirring the lees in the barrels several times each month by hand to encourage natural aromas and protect the juice from oxidation.
No fining or cold-treatment of the wine.
Use of the absolute minimum of sulfite to conserve the wine.
Minimal use of new oak barrels to avoid the classic “wood” tastes found so often in white wine which mask the true flavors and aromas of the grapes.
Corks are from the only organic cork tree plantations in Portugal, the labels are made using water-soluble ink rather than oil-based products. All of this costs more but is part of the philosophy.
What few people realize is how much can actually be added to wine to make it ‘artificial’ and standardized. Here is a list of some of the things winemakers add in Europe (probably the most restrictive and controlled winemaking region in the world!): click here
At le Clos de la Meslerie we use only ONE of the above, sulfites in minimal doses to protect the wine from spoilage.
Non-sulfited wines are extremely fragile and particularly sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and other events that can cause spoiling leading to bad aromas and flavors. Because so many of my customers are in countries outside of France, I can’t take the risk of transporting a non-sulfited wine that far. When I do make a non-sulfited batch I hope our overseas customers will come here to drink it with me!