The secret of KALIAN wines lies in one key word: balance.
Our approach consists at looking at each block independently in order to match the agricultural plan to the terroir, the grape variety and the final wine (dry or sweet).
We also decided to convert the entire estate to organic farming at the end of 2008. Finally, we respect the lunar calendar as much as possible for all types of vineyard tasks.
Thus, organic viticulture at KALIAN is characterized by numerous manual interventions and technical choices aimed at obtaining optimal grape quality, both with regards to the maturity and condition of the grapes.
All of the “green” operations in the vineyard (shoot selection, suckering, leaf-pulling) are carefully carried out by hand.
In order to best respect the structural and biological equilibria of the soils, the addition of organic material as well as the decision to cultivate the inter-row or leave it in grasses, is adjusted on a block by block basis in accordance with the climatic
conditions of the vintage year.
These efforts are focused on the long term, and will make it possible to obtain high quality grapes produced by methods that respect the environment, all the while encouraging the vine-fungus ecosystem for sweet wines.
“When the grapes are of high quality, the winemaking becomes minimalist.”
This phrase captures our state of mind from the vineyard to the winery doors. We therefore try not to be too interventionist in order to preserve the expression of the grape variety and the terroir in the juice and later in the wine.
In order to achieve the desired level for each of our wines, we take meticulous care at each step throughout the winemaking process.
Thus, the grapes are transferred gently and mostly by gravity (through the use of a mechanical dump trailer and an elevator belt). Pneumatic pressing, meanwhile, is adapted according to the wines: light and meticulous for dry whites, rosés or reds; long and progressive for sweet wines. The temperatures are controlled in the different tanks in order to control the alcoholic fermentations and preserve the initial
aromatic potential. Finally, the aging is adapted according to the style of wine. Aging takes place either in stainless steel tanks, concrete or in French
In parallel with the Organic Agriculture certification acquired in 2012, KALIAN strives to limit the use of oenological products in the winery and in particular sulfur dioxide (SO2 or sulfites). This implies an unfailing attention to the hygiene of the cellar as well as to the protection of the wines from oxygen during the various rackings.
This approach culminated in 2016 with KALIAN’s first wine made without added sulfites: “Juste à Temps “.
The Monbazillac harvest, always conducted by hand, is like no other since it involves exclusively harvesting the berries affected by noble rot — not
Botrytis cinerea, when the climatic conditions are met, colonizes the berries, turning them purple-brown. The berries’ skin then becomes permeable, allowing the evaporation of water and the concentration of sugar inside. The objective at KALIAN is to obtain musts between 19 and 23% potential alcohol or between 340 and 415 grams of sugar per liter.
However, obtaining this natural concentration remains a challenge every year. Indeed, the harvest, long and late, is exposed to the sometimes less favorable climatic conditions at the end of the season. When the desired level of concentration is not reached (2008, 2010 or 2020 vintages), we do not produce a vintage of KALIAN Monbazillac.
Botrytis cinerea settles differently from one cluster to another, from one berry to another, from one vineyard block to another, etc. Successive selections or passes are therefore necessary in order to harvest the berries at the desired stage of noble rot and according to the profile of Monbazillac wine sought.
Harvest at KALIAN consists of inspecting each grape and picking only the clusters, portions of clusters or berries that have been colonized by noble rot, while those that are unaffected or barely affected are left on the vines to allow botrytis to colonize them. They will only be harvested during a later sorting or pass. This scrupulous control of the clusters also allows us to evaluate the quality of botrytis, which is the key to a great vintage. Each suspect berry is systematically removed in order to avoid compromising the quality of the Monbazillac.
At KALIAN, we carry out between 3 and 6 passes depending on the vintage and the harvest, which generally begins in early October and often ends in mid-November.
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