February Focus Winner
Over the past years Anne Pichon Wines acquired more old vineyards to bring the size of the domaine to 21 hectares. “The best vineyards in Ventoux are low-yielding and difficult to cultivate,” said Marc. “They’re the ones that people want to get rid of.” With organically farmed holdings that include 9ha Grenache, 5ha Syrah, 1ha Merlot, 0.8ha Carignan, 1.2ha Roussanne, 1.5ha Viognier, 0.7ha Grenache Blanc, 1.5ha Clairette and 0.3ha Bourboulenc, the micro-climate at Anne Pichon is dry, with cool, manually tilled soils that retain moisture when it rains. And because of the Mistral that sweeps up from the hills below, fruit is less susceptible to rot and disease, providing and ideal environment for organic viticulture.
Employing careful vineyard management, low yields and late harvesting, Pichon hand-harvests and destems all of the fruit. Reds are vinified in small 50 hL cement tanks or stainless steel, at low temperature to achieve a long maceration. For extraction Marc generally performed two gentle pump overs daily, with additional manual punch downs if necessary. The fermentations extend 3 to 4 weeks with a slow progressive increase in temperature to extract a very fine tannin structure. The malolactic fermentation and ageing take place partly in oak barrels but mostly in cements tanks. White wines are made from only a light pressing of first run juice and vinified in stainless steel tanks with strict temperature control to maintain a balance of ripe fruit and freshness.