They have also acquired a savoir-faire that has built a reputation for Gaillac Wine over the years, including very specific winemaking methods. Some of these old-fashioned techniques have even proven their productivity far beyond the edges of our vineyard.
Méthode Ancestral (old-fashioned method)
The méthode ancestrale (old-fashioned method), also called the methode gaillacoise (Gaillac method), is an original technique used to make sparkling wine. It involves bottling the wine in advance, before the end of the alcoholic fermentation of the grape must. The fermentation is therefore completed in the bottle forming bubbles naturally
. The level of residual sugar while bottling will determine the type of sparkling wine: dry, semi-dry or sweet.
Historically, this rural method was the only technique used to make sparkling wine before discovering the méthode champenoise (champagne method). Today, the méthode ancestrale remains the main process used by Gaillac winemakers to make sparkling wines.
« Gaillac Primeur »
Gamay is the only grape variety capable of producing Gaillac Primeur Reds. When fully ripe, grapes are harvested by hand. Whole bunches are then placed into crates. These precautions are essential in order for the process to run smoothly.
The “Gaillac Premier” relies on a very specific winemaking process: carbonic maceration
. Whole bunches, intact with stems, are put into an airtight vat or tank that is quickly filled with carbon dioxide. This produces an intracellular fermentation lasting about 4 to 5 days and should take place at a temperature between 20 and 25°C. Only the bottom of the tank is soaked with juice and ferments according to the classic method.
This technique gives wine a typical amylic and red fruity flavour, a wonderful refreshing taste with a lower tannin level.