Domaine Christophe Pacalet

After working as a chef for four years, Christophe Pacalet returned to his native Beaujolais to study wine-making with his uncle, Marcel Lapierre of Morgon fame.

Like a growing number of young wine-makers, Pacalet does not own land, but rents carefully selected parcels based on the quality of the terroir and the age of the vines.

Renting allows him to have access to old vines vineyards and he focuses on 40 to 80 years old vines. Christophe makes wines today from a total surface of about eight hectares of vineyards.

The vines are cultivated according to the principles of “lutte raisonnée”; that is, the abstention from the use of chemical herbicides, fertilizers and fungicides whenever possible.

Philosophy

Old vines yields are low, usually about 30 – 45 hectoliters/hectare and hand harvested by his team. The grapes are immediately kept for twenty-four hours in a cold room and then filled in the wooden tronconic fermenters and vinified by complete, cold carbonic maceration in order to preserve the finesse of aromas.

The only exception are for the Chenas, Moulin a Vent and Julienas where the must is not cooled down first as the indigeneous yeasts of these three crus seems to work better at a slighty higher temperature.

Only indigenous yeasts are involved in fermentation, to preserve the specificity of each Beaujolais cru and no sulfites added. The fermentation last two to three weeks and then the wine is aged on its fine lees for six to nine months depending on the cru in a combination of old foudres and barrels. Then the wine is bottled unfiltered and a small amount of sulfites is added.  On request, bottling without any sulfites is available”