Each winemaking project is unique. The approach to maturing in casks is extremely precise, as a barrel profile corresponds to each project. To assist winemakers, the Vicard Expertise is a five-stage procedure:
1- UNDERSTAND THE TARGET PRODUCT
An immersion into the wine, from the vine through to the bottle (or further) in order to come up with the 'barrel potential’.
Get to know the following things in detail: soil type, planting density, yield per hectare, analysis of the wine (pH, polyphenols, general structure)
The first impression as regards tasting is decisive in the final diagnostic.
2- FIND OUT THE WINEMAKER’S OBJECTIVE
Find out and validate together the winemaker’s objectives and means:
What type of wine: Fruity? Woody? Time available for maturing according to cellar capacity, winemaker’s style and sales imperatives? Financial means available to bring the project to fruition?
3- SUMMARY AND PROPOSAL OF SOLUTIONS
In the light of the summary of the product and the winemaker’s objectives, but also using their own personal experience, the Expert puts forward several solutions to meet the customer’s requirements.
4- VALIDATE AND SET UP A TRIAL PROTOCOL
Validation is crucial because the success of the experiment is dependent on the winemaker’s acceptance of the solution proposed by the Expert. A trial protocol is then drawn up to confirm the solution: it details the various stages in monitoring the maturing process (see model).
5- REGULAR MONITORING AND FINAL VALIDATION
This monitoring serves to conduct controls, comment on the maturing phases and, in a way, to validate the partnership that has formed between winegrower and cooper. At the end of maturing, the final tasting session is fundamental, as it validates the final trial or highlights conclusions in order to modify certain parameters with a view to optimizing the quality of the wine, once again in line with the winemaker’s objectives.