Château Barouillet has been owned by the family for 8 generations, our research couldn't go any further back as some transmissions were made by women and therefore names changed due to marriage. Nonetheless it is sure that the winery has existed for a very long time and our ancestors have loved and pampered this land.
At present, we are three generations working in the winery:
My grandfather Yves Alexis “Milou” has spent more than 60 years in the vineyard.
My father, Gérard Alexis, around 40 years developing the winery.
Myself, Vincent Alexis, since 2010, with a desire to continue in my forebearers footsteps by working land as naturally as possible.
We are located at Pomport, Dordogne, in the middle of Monbazillac appellation southern Bergerac, barely 50 km from Saint Emilion. The vineyard consists of 45 hectares, divided into 5 lots.
20 hectares of Monbazillac, surround the winery. The average age of the plants is around 50 years old, with an average yield of 26 hectolitres/hectare. Grape varieties are composed of Semillon and Muscadelle but also sauvignon blanc and gris, chenin, ondenc and ugni blanc.
9 hectares of Bergerac rouge, in the small village of Pomport and Mescoules, with great expositions (east-west), low deep calcarious and limestone soil. The average age of the plants is around 30 years old, with an average yield of 50 hectolitres/hectare. Grape varieties are composed between Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc for the most classic, but also Malbec and very rare, Merille (or Périgord).
5 hectares of Pécharmant, at Lembras, North of Bergerac. We have an other cellar of vinification placed in the middel of the vines witch allow as a very fast processing of the harvest. Exposed to the South, on a soft slope. The soil varies, with stony parts composed of flint and pebbles, and with clayey and sandy parts. The average age of the plants is around 19 years old, with an average yield of 40 hectolitres/hectares. Grape varieties are composed of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Cabernet Franc. This parcel has been organically converted since 2010, with a conclusive experimentation of herbal medicine which has permitted us to reduce sulfites and copper doses to the strict minimum (1.6 kg of copper/ hectare in 2011).
1 hectare of Côtes de Bergerac moelleux (sweet wine), at Mescoules, on dry and arid soils. The 40 year old vines naturally produce low yields (50 hectolitres/hectare) with a great sugar and acidity concentration. The grape varieties are similar to the Monbazillac area with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle and often embellish with Chenin or Semillon.
9 hectares on Monbazillac land, selected for dry white. But always on terroirs with tendency limestone selected for a vinification in dry white. The average age of the vines is around 54 years old, with an average yield of 50 hectolitres/hectare. Grape varieties are composed of Sauvignon blanc and gris, Semillon, Chenin and Chardonnay.
Our approach is to work like the traditional agriculture, observing carefully, each land and each lot with a farmer’s intuition. Since 2010, we have gradually converted all the domain in organic until having all the domain certified or in conversion in 2014. We push the biological approach a little further by working according to the lunar calendar in the vine as to the cellar. We do not use weed killer and we use organic treatment parsimoniously, which maintains a preservation of the ecosystem and improves the quality of the soil. We adapt the way of working the plants and soil according to the yearly climatic conditions and the condition of the vines, in order to transmit to our wine the best of each vintage.
The magic of winemaking
We make the wine the same way we work in the vines: respecting the raw material (grapes and wine), using a lifting conveyor, and an inflatable winepress with a closed cage and soft central drains for the harvest.
We also want to limit as much as possible the additives, the only one that I authorize is SO2 in a homeopathic way, so we adopt an impeccable hygiene in the winery. It is risky not to use selected yeasts but it is also a proof of the originality of the land and initial characteristics that makes our appellations. The wines are not filtered for the vast majority. As with the vine, we adapt to each wine according to its terroir its vintage and its destiny.
The ageing is done according to the type of wine that we want to have. The wine can be aged in stainless steel, concrete tanks, or in oak barrels. We do not use new oak barrels in order to let the wines originality and to respect the previous work. We consider that the interest of barrels is the natural micro oxygenation thanks to the wood, instead of the wood aromatization.
Oxygen is wine's worst enemy but it is also what makes the wine and ages thanks to its influence.