Vineyarddownload vineyard specs
Peyrassol’s 95 hectares of pristine vines, nestled in their 1,000 hectacre estate in the foothills of Massif des Maures, are home to a diversity of varietals that that each benefit from varied exposures and soil compositions consisting mainly of clay and limestone. Protected from the humid winds coming off the ocean by the Massif des Maures, the domaine enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The vineyards are set on terraces at an elevation of up to 330 meters, allowing ideal diurnal temperature range for balanced and even fruit ripening.
In soil dating back to the Triassic era Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Tibouren, Merlot Mourvèdre and Carignan are planted separately in site specific locations, to deliver each of their stylistic nuances. The same approach is taken for Sémillon, Sauvignon, Clairette, Viognier and Muscat, allowing the development of their hallmark characteristics.
The vineyards are split into three different areas, each being better suited to certain varietals and styles for red, white or rosé.
The plot in front of the winery, Milieu, has more clay and is on flatter terrain than the rest of the vineyards. Cinsault, Rolle and Syrah grow well here and the fruit is mainly used for the Cuvée des Commandeurs and Cuvée du Château. The great south and east exposures favor early ripening and are optimal for keeping the acidity and freshness in the fruit, which is essential for the rosé of Peyrassol.
The second section includes two little hills found on the estate. One hill is in the south, with the plots of Vaulongue/Poucabana, and the other hill is in the north with plots in the La Colline area. The altitude here can reach 300m high, and the soil is more rocky and better draining. A portion of these two hills is exposed to reveal small limestone faults. As expected, the red varietals are the most expressive on these austere soils, with most plantings to Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet used for Château and Commandeurs red.
The third area is located on the north west part of the estate, around the Coudonnier plots. The vines are planted on deep and rich soil with fossilized evidence that the plot may have been underwater only a thousand years ago. Cinsault planted here gives great results and is the main source of fruit for Croix de Peyrassol and Réserve des Templiers.
Clos Peyrassol, in the south west of the vineyard, is a final important plot to notice. Historically speaking, this is the location registered as “Peyrassol”, and it was replanted with the arrival of the Austruy family. Producing exclusively Clos wines (rosé, red and white), it is recognized as a typical varietal of the region, though it is difficult to grow and very sensitive to disease. It brings great finesse and garrigue aromas to the rosé blend
Vineyard Manager Fouad Essoualeh knows that crafting the high caliber wines of Peyrassol starts with meticulous tending of the vineyard. His team works religiously to nurture the vines and the health of soil to gently coax the finest quality of grapes from it. Particular attention is paid to the nutrient levels in the soil and vineyard trellising to ensure the desired flavor development year after year.
The Commanderie has started their conversion to organic and should achieve certification by 2022.
Winemakingdownload Winemaking specs
Modern tools in the pursuit of tradition
At Peyrassol, the winery, built from ancestral stone, contains state-of-the-art equipment, allowing vinification to be performed with a high degree of precision. The winemaking team blend modern machinery with age old tradition, handling the grapes with the same care and attention that they receive on the vine.
The Peyrassol cellar has been renovated and designed using the traditional gravity principle. This means no pumps or pipes are used in the handling of the must. The use of many concrete vats and stainless steel tanks allows plot-specific vinification. This approach is an extension of the vineyard philosophy, with individual vineyards receiving individual attention. True for both red, white and rosé, freshness of aroma, minerality and complexity are the signature components of the Peyrassol wines.
Whether you are drinking Croix de Peyrassol, Clos Peyrassol, or even 1204, the same care and attention to detail has been applied during each vinification.
All fruit is harvested at night to maintain its freshness. The use of double floor boxes during harvest allows the free run juice to avoid contact with the berries and maintain it’s clear color on arrival to the cellar. The fruit is then 100% destemmed and, by gravity, sent to the horizontal press with a closed tank to limit oxidation. The juice is separated from the press and sent straight into stainless steel and thermo regulated tank for a 24h cold settling followed by alcoholic fermentation, while malolactic fermentation is avoided. The top cuvées undergo additional aging, Clos Peyrassol in sandstone jar and 1204 in oak barrels. Once ready, the wines are racked, blended, and lightly filtered before bottling.
Peyrassol’s three white wines are produced from the estate’s vineyards and follow a similar vinification style to the rosé, up to the pressing. Cuvée des Commandeurs is blended then bottled for release, while Clos Peyrassol and Château Peyrassol spend additional time in the cellar. Château Peyrassol is first fully vinified in barrels then aged in partially new barrels with light bâtonnage. The barrels chosen have been heated with vapor instead of traditional fire toasting. This alternative process limits toasty aromas and allows the more delicate characteristics of oak aging to develop. Clos Peyrassol, on the other hand, is aged solely in sandstone jars for 6 months prior to bottling.
The finished wines are considered the most pristine and unadulterated expression of the Provencal terroirs.
In 2015, at the stewardship of Stéphane Derenoncourt, the doors to the brand new red wine facility and cellar opened for production. Equipped with 13 custom-made concrete tanks, the facility still has room to grow.
All three estate red wines, Cuvée des Commandeurs, Château Peyrassol, and Clos Peyrassol, follow a similar path once manually harvested and sorted in the vineyard a first time. The grapes are brought to the cellar where they will be 100% destemmed and then manually sorted once more on a vibrating sorting table before making their way, by gravity, to the concrete tank. Once filled, the tanks will look like open boxes of caviar, with only round little berries forming the chapeau on top of the juice.
The techniques of pigeage and remontage are both used during fermentation which takes place in temperature controlled concrete tanks. Different size tanks have been built to match the different plots, allowing for a more precise vinification. The aging time varies per wine and will be done in concrete tank, large foudres, barrels or concrete egg, depending on the cuvée. A light filtration is completed before bottling each red.