Benjamin Delobel decided to set up his own wine cellar in an 18th century farmhouse located at Ouchamps (Loir et Cher), his place of residence. He also invested in thermo-regulated vats, equipment that enables him to limit the use of additives such as sulphur dioxide and fining agents. When used, doses are kept to a minimum since the vineyard is in the process of converting to organic production. Since 2012, organic certification covers both the vines and the method of vinification.
Before reaching the vinification stage, the grapes must attain a perfect state of maturity. In order to know when to pick the grapes, Benjamin’s always tastes them individually. As soon as they’ve acquired a perfect aromatic profile with a good balance between aromas, sugar and acidity, grape-picking can start. This is carried out plot by plot (eight planted with Sauvignon, two with Gamay and Pineau d’Aunis) or according to the degree of maturity.
The crucial stage of vinification will then depend on the type of grape :
- Sauvignon Blanc (85% of the estate) is a very aromatic grape but also a fragile one. It is essential to prevent rapid oxidation as this would result in the loss of the grapes’ fruity quality. The following approach is therefore used: hand-picking early in the morning when temperatures are low, applying the highest standards of hygiene, gentle pressing in a pneumatic press, a cooling of the juices in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats followed by cold storage and maturing on fine lees so as to generate some fatty elements, aromas and a good length on the palate.
- Gamay and Pineau d’Aunis grapes yielding fruity and spicy red wines are processed separately and placed in micro vats. These varieties, whose yields are controlled (35hl/ha), are handpicked and allowed to macerate cold for two to three weeks in order to extract the colour and aromas. Gentle extraction is carried out by manual push down. After alcoholic fermentation, the wines are poured into casks for malolactic fermentation. The ageing process lasts eight to ten months.
- Pineau d’Aunis, a pale variety producing a spicy and peppery rosé wine, undergoes vinification in the same way as a white wine. Handpicked, it is then left to macerate for six to twelve hours in order to extract the colour and aromas, before undergoing gentle pressing in a pneumatic press.
With these three grape varieties grown on the Oisly terroirs, the Delobel vineyard is able to offer a broad range of Touraine and Touraine-Oisly AOC wines : three whites, two reds and a rosé.