Grande Maison – Monbazillac
Grande Maison was an organic pioneer in Monbazillac, farming according to organic and biodynamic principles in the early 1990s. The estate’s 14 hectares of vineyards mostly face full south; a small lake (created by an earlier owner) helps to protect against spring frosts, moderate summer temperatures and encourage the development of botrytis, or noble rot, once grapes are ripe. Soils combine limestone and clay, with some flint—unique in the region.
Grapes are harvested by hand in up to seven picking runs, and taken to the cellar in small batches no heavier than 10 kilograms to prevent oxidation. Fruit is pressed gently in a horizontal pneumatic press, and placed under gas immediately. Juice clarifies naturally and is fermented on indigenous yeasts in new French oak barrels. Wine is aged also in new oak, from two to three years.