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Chateau de Gayon
Chateau de Gayon
Chateau de Gayon

Chateau de GAYON is situated in Southwestern France, near the Pyrenees Mountains. The castle dates back to Medieval times, years before the birth of King Henry IV and Christopher Columbus. The 9 hectares of grapes are part of the small Madiran Appellation. Wine has been produced on the property on and off for centuries.
Two styles of wine are Produced, a red and white.

The full bodied red MADIRAN owes its soul to the varietal Tannat and may be carefully blended with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Savignon and Fer Servadou. It is a ready partner to the hearty meals and local cheeses of southwest France.

The demi-sec white PACHERENC du VIC-BILH is made from both the Gros and Petit Manseng grapes. Its residual sugars and balanced acidity result in a wine served chilled and often enjoyed as an aperitif or the natural accompaniment to foie gras.

The terroir is clay mixed with stones, the climate Mediterranean. Naturally no irrigation is allowed. Canopy maintenance is performed both mechanically and manually. The grapes used in the wine are all harvested by hand. The current wine making facility uses state of the art equipment and is designed as an overhead gravity system to minimize pumping of the juices.

The MADIRAN is small batch fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The different varietals are kept separate as much as is practical. All the Tannat is then aged for about a year in French Oak, usually 1/3 new barrels, 1/3 one wine old barrels and1/3 two wine old barrels. The other varietals are all aged but may be un-oaked. A blend of un-oaked wine adds an additional taste of fruit and overall complexity. The time of maceration varies and is determined by tasting. Only the free flow juices are used for the malolactic fermentation.

The Manseng grapes for the PACHERENC are de-stemmed, crushed, pressed and then cooled. The juice is then fermented and aged in 400 liter French Oak barrels, usually with the same 1/3 ratios. The wine remains in the wood for about one year before bottling.

The picking of the grapes is done by hand. The harvesters sort and place the whole grape clusters in small boxes which are then stacked on pallets. The pallets are then transported, skins un-broken, to the Chai. They are then lifted to the balcony where the grapes are de-stemmed and crushed before falling, by natural gravity, into the stainless steel, temperature controlled tanks for fermentation. We usually do one crush a day.

The estate is at the southern limit of the appellation and quite close to the Pyrenees Mountains. Our weather, rainfall, temperatures and altitude are a bit different than the rest of the Madiran, resulting in a harvest that tends to be later than the majority of the other producing properties. Our unique terroir results in a softer tasting wine.

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