Video « Domaine de Chevalier - Badigeonnage des barriques »

“It is essential to recognise that every vintage is different. Respect for this difference, ongoing observation in the vineyard and the cellar, and understanding the terroir result in the best possible wine year after year. In a manner of speaking, winemaking as such takes a back seat … Its sole mission is to reflect the terroir’s intrinsic quality.”

Moderate extraction

“A great terroir demands only moderate extraction, and this should be in keeping with vintage parameters in order not to produce a wine that is overly powerful. Too much extraction cannot enhance the quality of a wine. On the contrary, the quality of the fruit must be the most important factor in guiding the winemaker...

A perfectly equipped vat room

“The vats at Domaine de Chevalier are small (100-50 hectolitres). This makes it possible to ferment batches from each plot separately and thus to fine tune the final blend.
These stainless steel vats are wider than they are tall (2.85 m in diameter, 2.50 m tall). This facilitates the extraction of colour and tannin, and increases contact area between the juice and the cap.”

“Fermentation is preceded by maceration lasting 4-6 days which highlights the wine’s fruit. A close watch is kept on fermentation temperatures, which can rise to 30-32° C towards the end. The wine is regularly pumped over and sometimes accompanied by pigeage (punching down the cap), an ancient technique that has always been used at Chevalier. This breaking up of the cap and pushing it down into the wine with a long, wooden stick results in gentle extraction”


“Among other advantages, maceration helps to refine tannin. The wine stays on the skins for 15-25 days depending on its structure, and is frequently tasted to keep close track of developments... As the wine finishes its maceration, the temperature is gradually lowered to 20/22°C and then run off into new oak barrels for malolactic fermentation.


“The final blending of red wine also takes place in January. At Chevalier, we believe that blending should be done early for the tannins to become fully integrated, particularly those from different grape varieties. Our basic blending philosophy is to reflect the terroir – to highlight not only concentration and depth, but also complexity, finesse, and elegance. Depending on the year, between 40 and 60% of the red wine production goes into the grand vin.
The wines are tasted very regularly from the time they are run off until blending.”


“The red wine ages entirely in barrel. This lasts 14-24 months for the grand vin. The proportion of new oak varies from 40 to 60% depending on the vintage. Racking is done by gravity flow from barrel to barrel and the wine is bottled in late June.
The second wine, Esprit de Chevalier ages for less time (approximately 12 months) in barrels that have already been used for two years. The third wine ages for around10 months in 2-4 year-old barrels.”Oliver Bernard