Our expertise

Passionate about viticulture

Growing vines is a never-ending vocation, with cycles that are infinitely repeated in accordance with the seasons. Every year, the same basic operations are carried out in the vineyard, but vary constantly according to the weather, the soil, the presence of insects, and the phases of the moon. Viticulture involves the quest for balance more than anything else. We do our utmost to enable the vines to thrive in their natural environment.

Winemaking & free expression

Dating from the last century, the cellar at Domaine La Barroche abuts a wall of solid rock and was very traditionally designed. Maximising the fruit, and making the most of the grapes' intrinsic aromas and flavours, is the number one priority here. We do all we can to retain the freshness, reflect the terroir, and produce opulent, delicious wines. Seeing as the cellar is on several levels, and we are able to rely on natural gravity flow to move the wine. Our objectives are clear: to handle the wine as delicately as possible, to lock in the intrinsic fruitiness and varietal character, and to express the terroir.

Patience is the byword in the cool cellars, and we believe in non-interventionist winemaking to maintain the wine's balance. This entails gentle extraction and long, careful ageing. The wines from different grape varieties are kept in separate containers for nearly 18 months, depending on their personality and structure: large foudres for Grenache, small barrels and demi-muids for Syrah and Mourvèdre, and concrete tank for Cinsault.

Tasting, the interaction between people and wine, makes all the hard work well worth the effort.

The Four Seasons of Domaine la Barroche

Spring … a race against the clock

This is when the vines wake up after their long hibernation, and it is necessary to concentrate four months of work into a single one...

Late March-early April is time to finish pruning, straighten up vines blown down by the Mistral, tie up the Syrah, look after the young vines, distribute pheromone capsules for mating disruption – not forgetting working the soil: hoeing, light ploughing and unearthing the trunk of the vines. And all that before budbreak!

Since we do not use chemical weed killers, we also need to remove the grass that overruns the vineyard with alarming regularity...

In late spring, we practise meticulous bud thinning, which helps to control yields and give precedence to fruit-bearing buds. This work, like winter pruning, is of vital importance, and is the vineyard operation that calls for the most reflection.

Summer: the beach, Corsica and buddies!

In summer, lazing about suits us winegrowers very well! Of course, we make sure that the vine trunks are in good condition, do a little bunch thinning to ensure good concentration in the wine, look after bunches and canes that have been harmed by the wind, and spray the vines when necessary... But, on the whole, this is a time of rest and simply letting the grapes ripen!

We begin keeping track of this on a regular basis as summer draws to a close. We do this in the time-honoured way, by close observation and tasting the berries. September is taken up with preparing for the harvest, tuning the tractors, making sure the baskets and secateurs are in good condition, and readying the hoppers to receive the grapes. Then it is only a question of waiting. The harvest lasts for nearly a month, going from the earliest-ripening to the latest-ripening plots. However, it is impossible predict how picking will go. Each vintage is unique and has its share of surprises!

Autumn is like a comic strip: CLIP! BANG! VLOP! and ZIP!

Our nerves are on edge as the harvest approaches… Autumn is a stressful time of year, and only calms down once the grapes have all been brought in. The electric atmosphere begins in the vineyard with the clipping of secateurs and the sound of grape bunches falling into baskets. The grapes are entirely hand-picked and rigorously sorted. We rely on a team of pickers that remains essentially unchanged from one year to the next, even if there are always some new faces. We are delighted to see old friends!

After several weeks of fermentation, in November, calm descends over the vineyard, the last leaves change colour and the cold weather returns.

Winter: a well-deserved rest…

Winter is a time of peace... The final fermentations come to an end and the vineyard is ploughed one last time to cover the base of the vines with earth to protect them from the cold. This is also the season to remove the vines that are no longer viable because they are too old or diseased.

And then, finally, it is time for the warriors to rest! We will wait a little longer to begin pruning. This takes place during the waxing moon and helps to define what the new vintage will be like...