CHATEAU LE PAYRAL (Bergerac, France)
From 1992, Theirry and Isabelle Daulhiac have had the run of the 19thC. manor house and the surrounding 15ha of vineyards, since being handed down to them from the previous 2 generations. They are nestled between to oft-foggy appellations of Monbazillac and Sainte-Foy, in the town of Razac de Saussignac. When they took over, traditional farming methods were common but the duo have slowly converted to organic (near biodynamic) practices in the vineyards. They cultivate 8ha of white grapes (Semillon, Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc) and 7 of red (Merlot with Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon). The organic methods have improved the outcome of their muddy soils, heavy with clay and sand, preventing the mildew and rot that the area can so easily bring. The cellar sees a combination of traditional and unique practices, incorporating some modern techniques to present more elegant and pure-fruited wine. There is a combination of oak and steel for ageing. A bright future lies ahead as they see the benefits of natural ways affecting their plots. Perhaps the ideas will flow as easily into the wine making as well, ready to pass along to the next inhabitants of the elder estate. We like the prospects so far.
Bergerac Blanc Sec 2009
50% Sauvignon Blanc 25% Semillon 25% Muscadelle. Hand harvested and sorted before a maceration of 18hrs. Gently pressed into steel tank and selected yeasts begin fermentation. Under temperature control, lees are removed and allowed to oxygenate for 1-3wks. Reincorporated, the wine rests until settled and the wine is bottled with SO2.