Surface Area - Soil - Grape Varieties
Sophie and Jean-Marc Autran cultivate 30 hectares of vines distributed as follows: 3.5 hectares within the Gigondas Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée area, 12.5 hectares in the Sablet AOC and 14 hectares of Côtes du Rhône vineyards.
One of the great advantages of the the domaine is that it is split into many small areas, which are on various different soil types : clay with limestone and sand, clay with chalk, and sand and gravel soils.
A further advantage is that the vines themselves, which are 20 – 40 years old, are reaching their prime. The average yield is 40 hectolitres per hectare.The grapes are harvested separately, parcel by parcel, which lends each wine its own specific character, each one different from the next. All the grapes are picked by hand.
The dominant grape variety is the traditional Grenache, with complimentary plantings of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Carignan, with a density of 4,000 plants per hectare and pruned in either the ‘cordon royat’ or the ‘gobelet’ style.
Until the 2005 vintage, the wines were made from whole bunches, with no destemming or crushing. Destemming was introduced in 2006. The duration of the fermentation varies from one week (for the Côtes du Rhône) to four weeks (for the Sablet and Gigondas).
The temperature is strictly controlled at 28-30 degrees Centigrade.
The Côtes du Rhône red wines are matured in concrete tanks for 6 months to a year while the Sablet and Gigondas are matured for two winters (three winters for some cuvées) in demi-muids (600-litre barrels) and large wooden vats.
The white wines are vinified in two-season-old oak barrels and bottled after a few months to conserve their youthful aromas and freshness.
Bottling of the reds is carried out in a single pass, and none except the Côtes du Rhône are filtered.