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Coming from a family of Vergisson wine makers in the Mâcon region, Roger Lassarat struck off on his own in 1969 with 3 hectares.
Vergisson is a small, typically Mâcon village, planted between the Vergisson rocks and Solutré, 10 km west of Mâcon.
Bit by bit, the domain has increased in size and now includes a little more than 16 hectares.
Roger has sought to develop pure wines that reflect different terroirs.
- The vineyard: Planting 100% chardonnay.
- The climates:
- Appellation Pouilly-Fuissé: Clos de France, Clos du Martelet (monopoly)
- Appellation Saint-Véran: Les Mûres, Le Cras and les Chataîgniers
- on the vine: obtain quality wine grapes.
Firstly, only the best grapes possible are harvested. In addition, there is the advantage of having old vines (the oldest of which are more than 100 years old) on hillsides that receive a lot of sunlight.
To get the best grapes, Roger has chosen not to use synthetic fertilizers but, on the contrary, to promote the use of organic materials (manure or compost) thus creating and maintaining microbial life. Accordingly, the grapes are fed solely using elements from the soil.
Tilling, all while aerating the soil, forces the roots to dig down, seeking their nourishment as deeply as possible, and aids in extracting the “soul of the terroir”.
This occurs firstly by limiting yields; “one branch and one spur” is sufficient, then optimal ripening is allowed to occur, and finally there is manual harvesting to ” respect what nature has given to us”.
In vinification: allow nature to express itself.
As soon as quality wine grapes have been obtained, “making rich and concentrated wines is not difficult”.
In effect, once the harvest has come to the fermenting room, it is immediately placed in a pneumatic press, which is capable of “softly extracting the materials all while respecting them”.
Then, after a slight sludge removal during one night, the fermentation occurs, partially in temperature controlled tanks, the other part in “barrels”, always maintaining low temperatures, “without ever jostling nature in her work, such that the aromas and magical flavors of their terroirs are expressed”.
From wine crafting to bottling: The work of time.
In order to preserve the unique characteristics of the vintages, no yeast is added to the grape must, hence naturally present yeasts transmit the expression of the terroir to the wines. Once the alcoholic fermentation has been completed, malolactic fermentation occurs naturally for the most part, completely over the winter. Every week until the end of April, Roger beats the fine lees into suspension in order to provide body and brilliance to his wines, “without needing to filter them and thereby diminish them”.
Once this long and careful wine-crafting has been completed, once his wines have obtained the concentration that will allow them to stand the test of years and make your nostrils tingle, then comes bottling. Because gravity is used, without filtering, “all of the richness and authenticity of the vintage is preserved”.