Careful cultivation of the vines is paramount to producing a top quality wine. It is our policy at Domaine de Mourchon to employ a programme of organic viticulture throughout the annual growth cycle of the vine in order to maintain a healthy vineyard and to keep the yields low. Restricting the yield of the vine increases the concentration in each bunch of grapes that it produces and therefore raises the quality of the end product – our wines.
Organic viticulture means a commitment to the use of natural and organic methods wherever practical and no use of chemicals. As an example, weeds are managed through ploughing rather than the application of weed killers. Organic manures and fertilizers, including the composted marc from the previous years wine, are all used too.
Such prudent husbandry is a year – round labour – from pruning in the cold winter months when the vines are dormant, to careful canopy management during the vigorous growth period of May and July, through to September and manual harvesting, This traditional method allows pickers to eliminate any unhealthy fruit and to select individual bunches according to their ripeness, ensuring that our grapes arrive at the winery in the best possible condition.


Upon their arrival from the vineyards, the picked grapes are once again quality checked on a conveyor, picking out leaves, sub-standard bunches and any other detritus that has made it to that point (including the odd golf ball!). They are then de-stemmed and lightly crushed before entry into the winery.
The wine making process goes indoors and the vinification begins. The grapes are put into large stainless steel vats, separated by grape variety and individual parcels of land. In this way, when the wines are made and matured, we can blend the different varieties and parcels to produce exactly the blend that we want.


Yeast is added to the vats and the natural sugars within the grapes begin to ferment until all the sugar turns to alcohol. This initial fermentation takes only around a week. Another important process at this stage is the development of the wine’s colour and structure.
Almost all black grapes have white flesh and produce white juice. The colour and character of a red wine is only developed by leaving this juice in contact with the skins for approximately 3 weeks. To make sure that fermentation, colour and structure develop evenly we regularly pump the wine from the bottom of the vat back up to the top where it is passed through the ‘cap’ of skins and solid matter that naturally floats to the surface.
This is where rosé differs from red wine. It’s not normally, as some mistakenly believe, a blend of red and white wines. Rather, it is wine made from black grapes but only left in contact with the skins for a much shorter period than its red cousins. (A matter of only 3-4 hours in our case.)


After fermentation the majority of the wine is transferred to start the ageing process into concrete vats. A small percentage of wine from our oldest parcels will spend some time in French oak barrels. Unlike the inert environment of the stainless steel vats in which we ferment our wines, both concrete vats and oak barrels allow the wines to ‘breath’ as the mature. This slow, controlled interaction with the atmosphere allows the tannins within the wines to begin to ’round out’ and soften.


Throughout the ageing period the wine is tasted frequently and the complementary nature of each component is carefully considered by blending. The final blend (the ‘assemblage’) is chosen according to the particular characteristics of that vintage and, after an eighteen month to two-year period of maturation, is put into the bottle here at the Domaine.