The estate is divided in two main parts around the village of Vinsobres. A large part is situated at an altitude of 400m on clayey and/or stony hillsides (Les Plaines, 40 hectares and Les Escoulaires, 20 hectares). The other part is planted around the family estate on clayey hillsides at an average altitude of 200m (Plan de Moye, 20 hectares).
The wine is fermented for 18-25 days at 28˚C. The temperature controlled fermentation helps to preserve fresh fruit character. Gentle pumping over ensures good colour and tannin extraction from the grapes, resulting in a fruit driven wine with supple tannins. A centrifuge is used to separate out larger particles and the wine is then transferred to stainless steel tanks.
The goal of the Autrands is to work with the grapes to create wines which are a pure expression of their terroir so they don't use oak. The Autrands want the wine to be an autobiography of the vineyard rather a ghost-written interpretation.
Background on the Chateaux/Winery
The Autrand family originally farmed olive groves, the biggest part of the vineyard was only planted following the great frost of 1956, which destroyed the olive trees. After this disaster the Autrand family decided to restructure their business and plant vineyards as vines are hardier plants - a venture beneficial to both them and us! Let's face it, it's no good having olives if there isn't a glass of wine to hand! Today the average age of the vineyard is around 30-35 years.
Background on the winemaker/family
Christine Aubert-Autrand is the dynamic matriarch of a family which has now been tendings its vineyards for 4 generations. Indeed, the domaine is named after her - Autrandine is taken from Auntrand Christine. Christine took over the family business in 2002 and increased the vineyards from 40ha to 80ha and masterminded the current winery and shop, which was built in 2008. Christine's eldest son, Aurelien, works alongside his mother and is next in line to the vinous throne. A cheery, chirpy man despite the sleep deprivation that is part and parcel of having a baby. Aurelien pointed out Mount Ventoux and was keen to discuss the Tour de France and Chris Froome - news about Froome had broken in that day's papers. We preferred to taste some wine instead of discussing cycling - the things we do to preserve the entente cordiale!