Tasting and judging wines from across the global spectrum for the last 25 years is one thing, producing one’s own wine and submitting it for scrutiny by consumers is quite another! Gilbert & Gaillard have taken the plunge: “We had dreamt about it for a long time and have now realised our dream in Saint-Chinian, in the heart of Languedoc”. Be one of the first to discover wines grown in an outstanding area, born out of a shared passion for wine.
Gilbert & Gaillard now also encompasses an artisanal family estate producing environmentally friendly wines: Château Gilbert & Gaillard, the product of a unique encounter between François Gilbert, Philippe Gaillard and the wine region of Saint-Chinian in Languedoc. The estate covers 15 hectares located in the far southern part of the appellation area, on a limestone plateau with hills rising to 200m above sea level in a Natura 2000 nature protection area. The deep, stone-strewn soils date back to the Eocene epoch (start of the Tertiary period) and allow vines to develop a deep root system, protecting them from summer droughts and water stress. The garrigue, with its abundance of wild thyme, rosemary, juniper and fennel, along with pine trees cover a significant part of the countryside, bringing with them the scents that the vines and ultimately the grapes soak up.
Horse-drawn tillage is used for some of the vineyard soils: if you stop at the estate, you may be lucky enough to take a visit in a horse-drawn carriage. Every aspect of management on the estate targets a single goal, as Philippe and François explain: “We aim to turn the spotlight on our terroir in Saint-Chinian and share our passion for this magnificent product encapsulating our heritage that is wine. We want to draw out the quintessential qualities of our terroir, from the vine to the consumer. By discovering Saint-Chinian, we realised that we had an opportunity to create a great growth here due to its minerality, freshness and elegance and we do everything in our power to make it in an environmentally friendly way”.
Expertise supported by the best technology
Tapered concrete Nico Velo ‘tulip’ tanks take centre stage in the winery: these high-performance concrete tanks are winemaking tools that allow temperatures to be controlled and maximise aroma preservation. Their unusual shape improves the efficacy of pumping over, rack-and-return and enhances contact between the juice and the pomace.
Château Gilbert & Gaillard produces a range of five wines: Château Gilbert & Gaillard, Pour les Amis, Terre Sauvage and Rosé du Château, which will be joined over the coming weeks by the top end Roc Blanc – the 2013 vintage has just reached the end of its two year maturation phase in new casks.