The wine making
All our wines are produced here at Château Latuc, from the vines you
have visited on the vineyard trail, and are bottled by us here at the Château.
When the grapes arrive at the winery they pass through the
"égrappoir" which strips them from thestalks and breaks the skins slightly so
that the juice can flow. (no more treading folks, this machine does it for us).
The grapes then get pumped into the vat where the fermentation takes place. A
"starter" of specially selected yeast is mixed in with grape juice and added to
the vat. The first fermentation takes only a few days, during which all the sugar in the
grapes turns to alcohol. Temperature control is very important at this stage, too high and
the wine looses all its fruit, too low and it lacks colour and body.
wine is then left in contact with the grapes to extract the required amount of colour and
tannins. Afterwards, the grapes are separated from the wine and pressed to get out the
last few drops. Back into the vat for a second fermentation of about 3-4 weeks, and the
wine tastes already much smoother and nicer.
Over the winter the wine settles out, stabilises and becomes clearer. In the spring
the wine is evaluated and tasted for quality by experts. It must conform to the standards
set by the appellation otherwise it will be declassified to "vin de table". Of
course, some of these tastings are done by us, which explains sometimes why we get so
tired at the end of the day.
At this stage, the wine is ready and can be put into bottles. However, for our top
quality wine - the Prestige, there is still a long way to go.
We age about a third of our wine in hand-made French Allier oak casks to make our
Prestige. The Prestige spends one year in a barrel during which the passage of air and the
contact with the wood, smoothes the tannins and gives the wine a fuller body and a softer
taste. This is a very expensive process, not only because of the time spent and the cost
of the casks, but also because each barrel "drinks" about 12 litres of wine per
year due to evaporation (the so called "angel's share").
Our wines are well known for their fine ability to age and most of them will still
need several years to come to maturity and to develop the finest combination of colour,
bouquet and taste.