Château Bernateau In Saint Emilion: Great Wines With Organic Growing And High-End Equipment | Media Hard

Château Bernateau In Saint Emilion: Great Wines With Organic Growing And High-End Equipment

Château Bernateau In Saint Emilion: Great Wines With Organic Growing And High-End Equipment

Fermentation vats with windows, Chateau Bernateau, BordeauxBKWine Photography

Fermentation vats with windows, Chateau Bernateau, Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography

Pierrick stresses the importance of terroir. “Being organic is one way of enhancing the terroir style of the wine”, he says. Pierrick and Karen started out being sustainable and chose to go organic in 2007. They started the certification process in 2009 and are certified since the vintage 2012 which was put on the market in 2014.

Watch this video to listen to Pierrick talking about some of the changes being organic has led to.

“Organic is a good way for me to maintain quality”, says Pierrick. “To leave the grass growing in the vineyard is very good when you have clay. A soil covered with grass is not compact.” But in spring sometimes he cuts the grass. The vines need energy to grow, he says, and cannot always cope with the competition from the grass.

He spends a lot of time in the vineyard, all year round. When harvest approaches he checks the maturity and the health of the grapes 3-4 times a week. Analyses are important but for him to taste is vital when it comes to deciding when to pick. “When the seeds taste like hazelnuts the berries are perfectly ripe”, he says. All grapes at Bernateau are manually harvested.

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Bordeaux is not only about big, famous chateaux in Médoc. If you cross the rivers to the right bank you will find a myriad of smaller chateaux, often with less than 10 hectares of vineyards. Often family owned, like the remarkable Château Bernateau in Saint Emilion.

Château Bernateau is just outside of the village of Saint-Etienne-de-Lisse. This is the eastern part of Saint Emilion, about 10-15 minutes’ drive from the medieval and very pretty town of Saint Emilion. The chateau owners are Pierrick and Karen Lavau. Pierrick is the winemaker and from the estate’s 7.5 hectares he aims at both the highest possible quality and personal character. The famous right bank limestone helps. “It gives a certain saltiness, a freshness to the wines”, says Pierrick. His vineyard is mostly planted with Merlot, a grape that thrives on clay and limestone. Cabernet Sauvignon, on the other hand, prefers the gravelly soil of Médoc.

Fermentation vats with windows, Chateau Bernateau, BordeauxBKWine Photography

Fermentation vats with windows, Chateau Bernateau, Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography

Pierrick stresses the importance of terroir. “Being organic is one way of enhancing the terroir style of the wine”, he says. Pierrick and Karen started out being sustainable and chose to go organic in 2007. They started the certification process in 2009 and are certified since the vintage 2012 which was put on the market in 2014.

Watch this video to listen to Pierrick talking about some of the changes being organic has led to.

“Organic is a good way for me to maintain quality”, says Pierrick. “To leave the grass growing in the vineyard is very good when you have clay. A soil covered with grass is not compact.” But in spring sometimes he cuts the grass. The vines need energy to grow, he says, and cannot always cope with the competition from the grass.

He spends a lot of time in the vineyard, all year round. When harvest approaches he checks the maturity and the health of the grapes 3-4 times a week. Analyses are important but for him to taste is vital when it comes to deciding when to pick. “When the seeds taste like hazelnuts the berries are perfectly ripe”, he says. All grapes at Bernateau are manually harvested.

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