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Producer Domaine De Beaurenard

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Background

7 GENERATIONS OF WINEGROWERS

In the 14th century, during their stays in Avignon, the popes – and especially Pope John XXII – built a papal castle in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Impressed by the area's exceptional soils, they established vineyards on the slopes surrounding the château and were instrumental in promoting the local wine's reputation around the world. Domaine de Beaurenard in Châteauneuf-du-Pape has been a family-run estate for seven generations. A notarial act dated 16 December 1695 mentions “Bois Renard”, which over time has become “Beaurenard”. The Coulon brothers, Daniel and Frédéric, have taken over from Paul and Régine and are striving to sustain tradition. The estate covers 32 hectares (a little under 80 acres) of vines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and 25 hectares in the Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau AOC area.

SOILS BLESSED BY THE GODS The terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is unique. In particular the large sun-warmed stones diffuse a gentle, providential heat that helps the grapes to mature and their juice to concentrate. The Domaine is home to the “Symphony of 13 varieties” typical of this AOC, which provide aromatic complexity, strength and balance. For the red wines, four varieties dominate: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault, supplemented by Counoise, Muscardin, Terret and Vaccarèse. The whites are made from white-grape vines: Clairette, Roussane, Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Picardan and Picpoul. The vines are 45 years old on average, and their yield in Châteauneuf is 25-35 hl/ha. The Rasteau vines are planted in clay-chalk soil with a blue-clay subsoil, on slopes and full south-facing terraces. Yields are low: 30-42 hl/ha

BALANCED VINEYARD For more than 50 years, we have been cultivating these vineyards in an environmentally friendly way. On an everyday basis, that means spreading manure, no residual herbicides, and careful grass cover. The latter technique is key, because it prevents erosion, controls vine vigour, increases levels of organic matter in the soil, develops surface life (such as ladybirds, bees and cicadas), soil life (e.g. micro-organisms, earthworms) and forces the roots to stretch deeper to exploit the soil's resources. Manual work is conducted constantly throughout the year, but there are four especially important periods: - pruning is done solely by the estate staff: each person tends to the same parcel of vines every year, and thus shapes his “protégés” like sculptures. - manual debudding of all the vines: this prevents leaf build-up around the bunches, ensures low yields, and ventilates the vine-trunks by letting natural light through! - controlling the vines' vigour with grass cover, eco-friendly manure, and, if necessary, by removing some grapes before they ripen (green harvest). - harvesting with all grapes hand-picked and sorted. This type of extremely precise cultivation and monitoring means we obtain healthy grapes – the only way to make high-quality, highly concentrated wines.

HARVEST BY HAND Faithful to the old adage, “To make good wine, you need good grapes”, here at Domaine de Beaurenard we harvest entirely by hand – for all the wines we make. Each picker is given two buckets and, once the bunches are cut, separates the finest bunches from the damaged or immature grapes. The grapes, picked at optimal maturity, are taken to the vat room in small bins so that they are not squashed, which would cause oxidation and therefore affect quality. This stringent selection process improves the colour, smell, taste and digestibility of our wine, and ensures that consistent quality is maintained despite the whims of nature.

VINIFICATION & AGEING The savoir-faire passed on by previous generations has been enhanced by modern technology: temperature-controlled vats (some of them with cap-punching tools), a destemmer, a pneumatic press, and so on. This vinification process emphasizes the core qualities of the terroir and the various grape varieties. We ferment our grapes the traditional way, at length (15-31 days), use indigenous yeast (no additives) and control our vinification temperatures constantly, in order to extract good, supple tannins and a deep colour. The white wines are vinified at a lower controlled temperature (20°C) to conserve the natural aromas of the grapes and soil (flowers, fruit and minerals). In 2004 we created a new vat room for vinification in wood, with small truncated oak vats, to further upgrade the way wine is made at Beaurenard Fermentation in oak vats allows effective cap-punching and moderate oxygenation, as well as rounding and polymerising the tannins and imparting greater richness and mellowness to the wines. From start to finish, tasting is the cornerstone of ageing... Once vinified, the wine is put in oak barrels for a period of malolactic fermentation. This is the first stage of ageing, which continues on fine lees in oak fûts (228 litres) and foudres (30hl) and truncated oak vats (80hl) for 9-18 months. Ageing helps to clarify the wines and helps their structure to develop. Each movement must be performed with timely precision, as we have been taught by previous generations. Topping-up, racking, fining (as necessary), regular tastings using the pipette, and the meticulous work done on the barrels all contribute to making the very most of our wines. All of these minor details ultimately make a big difference.

BOTTLING Our wine has been bottled at the estate for more than a century. It is a delicate job over which we take the greatest care. The bottles are then stored in our cellars seven meters underground, at constant temperature, until they are shipped round France and to Europe, America, Africa, Oceania and Asia. They are a standard-bearer for French quality in the world's finest restaurants. On the estate in Châteauneuf, there is a tasting cellar for our customers and tourists - after visiting the ageing cellars, they can taste the various Beaurenard crus, which over the years have won more than 300 medals.

Wines


Winemaker

Years Winemaker
XXXX-XXXX Paul Coulon et fils


Other Information


Winery website

http://www.beaurenard.fr/


Category Producer

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Edited December 8, 2007 (diff)

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