1st DIFFERENCE: NO YEASTS
Grapes need yeasts to ferment. There are 2 sorts of yeasts: dried selected and yeast naturally available on the grapes.
1- Most wine makers add a selected dried yeast out of packet to start fermentation. The main reason for this choice is that a given yeast will create a given set of smells and tastes to a wine.
Yeast number -71 B- is an old favourite amongst the"Beaujolais nouveau"style wine makers as it produces the banana/pear drops smell commonly associated with these wines (should wine smell of bananas?).
Less popular these days, it has been widely replaced by the yeast number 2056 from the Rhone Valley which produces enormous blackcurrant smells. We think that this is an approach which :
a) is artificial
b) standardises wines: many wines smell and taste very similar.
2- We prefer to use the yeasts naturally present in the vineyard. Left to themselves, grapes will happily ferment without any assistance and produce authentic smells and tastes of, well, wine.
Gamay has a naturally peppery, spicy nose and a taste often reminiscent of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. These are images that come to mind to help describe a wine but they should not be mind-blowingly strong as is often the case using selected yeasts. To ferment our wines, we pick a row of vines about a week before the harvest starts. The grapes are put into a small tank and we tread them by foot to extract the juice as this will help fermentation to start. Kept at a temperature of around 25 °C, fermentation will start within a day or 2 and will be in full swing at day 5 or 6 ready to be placed in the first tank of grapes when the main picking starts.