The Chermette family has always been passionate about the art of making wine and its motto is the following.
The art of making wine the closest to the grape «We want to obtain a healthy and fully ripe grape to vinify the wine as naturally as possible».
Both in terms of vine growing and winemaking, Pierre-Marie and Jean-Etienne Chermette seek to be as less interventionist as possible. They respect the terroir which can thus be expressed in each cuvee in an authentic way.
The latest vintages provide us with evidence of global warming and its impact on our Beaujolais grape Gamay. The wines have better structure and good natural degrees. Pierre-Marie and Jean-Etienne Chermette are convinced that sustainable agriculture is the most suitable method for this evolution. Each week, careful monitoring of our vines allows us to better define our interventions, thus limiting our environmental impact. Traceability in the vineyard as well as in the cellar offers transparency and allows us to improve our approach.
Always aiming to reduce synthetic products in the vineyard in favor of biocontrol products, we are also developing mechanical tillage and favoring natural grassing for certain plots.
The quality of our wines comes from long-term work that is reflected over the seasons.
In winter, we already think about the vintage to come and opt for short pruning in order to control the yields. Cordon de Royat, Goblet and Guyot are the three types of pruning practiced.
By disbudding in spring we favor a microclimate conducive to the best shoots.
During the summer, we take care of our grapes until maturity by stripping and harvesting green if necessary.
Then comes fall and harvest time. The harvest remains traditional with two teams of 25 Polish cutters, one in Saint Vérand and the other in the crus.
Our environmental approach for the respect of soils and vines, committed for many years, has enabled us to obtain TERRA VITIS certification for the 2018 vintage.
We are committed to strictly respect the specifications. The aim is to promote sustainable viticulture that respects the environment, to ensure the production of healthy and high quality grapes and above all to use natural regulatory mechanisms. We promote long-term soil balance and reduce water, soil and air pollution.
We are always waiting for the optimal maturity to fix the date of the harvest thanks to the numerous monitoring of maturity in the plots. We notice that it is getting earlier and earlier.
This is always done manually, in order to preserve the integrity of the cluster, remove the leaves and pre-sort the grapes.
After the transport of the harvest to the vat, a passage on the sorting table can be carried out if necessary by our team in order to keep only the best.
This is the traditional Beaujolais vinification practiced by our ancestors. We apply the semi-carbonic vinification method because it is perfectly suited to Gamay and our terroir.
We make our wine without chemical yeasts, only with the support of the natural yeasts on the grape. We do not chaptalize, that is to say that we do not add sugar during the maceration of the grapes and that the alcoholic degree is obtained naturally with the sugar contained in the fruits. The addition of sulfite, necessary for the conservation of wine, is as little as possible.
The whole clusters - not destemmed - go into the tank; the tank is then saturated with carbon dioxide and closed. After 2 to 3 days of maceration, the cellar team makes "pumping over" in the morning and in the evening: the juice from the bottom of the tank is pumped and poured over the top. The goal is to give color and structure to the wine with supple and silky tannins.
Maceration lasts from 4 to 6 days for Beaujolais Nouveau, from 6 to 8 days for spring Beaujolais and from 10 to 12 days for crus. Then the grapes are pressed in the pneumatic press.
The Griottes cuvee and the Crémants de Bourgogne are kept in stainless steel tanks as well as a large part of the Beaujolais Blanc. But the majority of our production is raised in old oak casks. Barrel aging is only for certain wines, such as Beaujolais Coeur de Vendanges, Fleurie les Garants and Moulin-à-Vent les Trois Roches.
Our old oak casks of 40 to 70 hectoliters allow micro-oxygenation. This way we round the tannins in the wine and fix the color through an exchange between oxygen and the two wine compounds, tannins and anthocyanins, through the walls of the casks. The tannins give structure to the wine and the anthocyanins the color. Oak brings suppleness and roundness to the wine.
Our 228 liter oak barrels range from new to 5 years old. They give more structure to the wine thanks to the contribution of tannins naturally present in the wood. They also round off the tannins in the wine and fix the color over time. This aging gives woody and vanilla notes to the wines, letting most of the fruit and roundness of the gamay to express themselves.
We made the original choice to acquire a few new 228 liter acacia barrels each year to age our white Beaujolais. This type of wood goes perfectly with Chardonnay. Acacia allows to produce fruity white wines with roundness and freshness. This aging gives the wine aromas of flowers, white flesh fruits and citrus fruits without wooding the wines.
The stainless steel tank keeps the wines fresh and intensifies the aromas of red and black fruit from the Gamay.
The wines are aged in the large oak casks of our beautiful vaulted cellar, built by the great-grandfather of Pierre-Marie Chermette in 1873. We have carefully maintained it to keep it in its original style. Oak casks require regular monitoring by our accredited cooper Thierry Chapuis, the last cooper in Beaujolais.