Located in a privileged environment, on sloping land with a smooth river pebble sub-soil and lower clay and limestone fields bordering the Ardèche river for two kilometers, the estate covers 80 hectares, 28ha of which are planted with vines. What is rare is that all our vineyards are in one place.
Ludovic Walbaum’s personal philosophy is integrated farm management, what the French call “la culture raisonnée”. Vine growing, in this approach, consists in stimulating plants and enhancing their natural resistance within a unique ecosystem.
For this reason, the techniques used in the vineyard respect its biodiversity. We limit the use of herbicides and use traditional ploughing which, by aerating and stimulating the soil, keeps it alive.
The varieties of vines selected are Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, Carignan and Merlot, as well as Viognier for the white wines. The vineyards are divided into 1 to 2ha “parcelles” and each vine variety has two or three different exposures to the weather across the estate.
The vineyard is in the Coteaux de l'Ardèche “appellation” and has the right to use the IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) label.
The Syrah and Merlot grapes in our wines accurately reflect their soil of origin – structured, richly coloured wines with an honest taste. Cinsault and Grenache add warmth, roundness and fruit and our Viognier develops delicate, highly scented aromas.
Our grapes are harvested when optimally ripe then made into wine in our century-old cellar on the estate.
Fermentation starts gently, giving off the first aromas of the "vin nouveau".
Macerations are long, at controlled temperatures, sometimes up to 4 weeks to bring out their tannins, colours and aromas. Our red wines are then aged for 1 year in vats. For some of them we extend the process for a further 12 months in oak casks.
Our rosé wines are made in heat-controlled stainless steel vats. This is to keep all the properties of the juices of the rosé made by direct pressing or "saignée" during one night and to ensure gentle, slow fermentation at very low temperatures.
Rosé is probably the most delicate and most difficult wine to make well. The secret of its colour, aromas and elegance are a subtle balance..
Our white wines are made in using age-old traditional methods. The grapes are picked at dawn to conserve their freshness. They are then taken to the press and, after a short pellicular maceration, the clear juice extracted is fermented in a stainless steel vat. It is then stored in oak casks for 6 months to increase its alcohol content.
Throughout the winemaking process, we taste and analyze the wines at every step to determine precisely how they are evolving. All these operations respect the musts, guaranteeing the wine’s quality.
Our wines are only slightly filtered and seldom treated so as to preserve and transmit to you all this wealth of aromas that are so difficult to obtain.
Our olive-trees are grown in grassy groves to reduce soil erosion while retaining rainwater.
We prune our trees every year to keep them healthy – and optimise production.
Ludovic Walbaum makes a limited quantity of extra virgin oil from these olive-trees every year which you can buy in the estate cellar.