Sulphite-free wines: conviction and expertise

Less sulphite in our wines

What is the difference between sulphur, sulphur dioxide, sulphite and SO2? None, it is the same gas SO2 is simply the chemical formula. It is used in wine-making for its antiseptic and antioxidant properties.

The practice of reducing the level of added sulphites can involve any type of wine, organic or otherwise. Maison Gabriel Meffre’s wines, including all cuvées, have an average sulphite content that is below the limits authorised in organic agriculture.

Graphics taken from our 2019 results.

The relationship with our CSR approach

Demand for sulphite-free and low-sulphur wines is growing. Our clients are expressing their interest in this area and we feel it is essential to respond. Elsewhere, this direction is part of our CSR approach.

Véronique Torcolacci, oenologist at Maison Gabriel Meffre, explains the choices we have made:

“We have adopted a continuous improvement approach. The reduction of inputs is one of our priorities. Our estates give us the opportunity to experiment with sulphite-free wine production, with the aim of later deploying our techniques with our partner winegrowers. Generally speaking, we are working towards an overall reduction of SO2 levels in all of our wines. This takes time, as we are very careful about the preservation and quality of our wines.”

Creation of new cuvées

We launched this new initiative in 2018 with the “Première Nature Merlot, from Château Grand Escalion.

Véronique explains :

“This first test, which produced a moreish wine with intense red fruit notes, was conclusive and very well received by our clients. The 2019 vintage will be available soon!”

Based on this first experiment, we vinified the cuvée Roques’ n’ Toque in 2019, from Domaine de Longue Toque:

“We had some beautiful Grenache and superb Syrah, which inspired us to produce a wine with pure fruit and spice notes”.

We also offer several varietal wines with no added sulphur, which are currently being presented to our clients.

“In particular, we vinified a beautiful Chardonnay, with a pure floral character and light colour. We sought to achieve the right level of maturity, with good acidity, so that there is enough protection against oxidation and the wine can develop well.

“The absence of SO2 requires the use of specific practices: we have to adapt!”, enthuses Véronique.

The main aim with this type of cuvée is to avoid aromatic issues related to the low SO2 content. Achieving a flawless wine, which expresses its aromas in the purest possible way and meets the expectations of our consumers, is an exciting challenge for our technical teams!

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