Château de Piote
– Bordeaux, France
Typically, Bordeaux wines are known for their full-bodied, robust, and “masculine” character traits. The somewhat atypical Domaine Château de Piote has turned this stereotype on its head, producing feminine, refined wines with finesse yet equally rich flavor.
The vineyard is located in Val-de-Virvée, a commune near Bordeaux, three hours west of Toulouse. Winemaker Virginie Aubrion has owned the land since 1998. She and her family have dedicated great efforts to renovating, planting, cultivating, and developing the estate with profound respect for nature.
Her view is simple: the vineyard functions best when it operates autonomously, with minimal reliance on agricultural products and intervention. Grapes are harvested by hand, a surprising feat given the 14 acres. Yet, she still happily produces wines at a reasonable price point.
In the cellar, Virginie aims to intervene as little as possible. She uses a wide range of vessels in the winemaking process, such as concrete and stainless steel vats, French and American oak, terracotta amphora, and sandstone. This simple experiment allows her wines to change their shape and flavor profile without impeding their natural qualities.
Her two main ranges of wine are Cuvée des Potes and Cuvée des Chefs. Cuvée des Potes wines are less influenced by aging, making for reasonably priced wines ideal for fun, friends, and quaffing while still keeping their quality.
On the other hand, her Cuvée des Chefs wines are more refined, complex, and exciting gourmet wines designed to showcase oak, bouquets of dark fruit, and refined structure.
Cultivation: 14 ha
Production: 35,000-50,000 bottles/year
Varieties: Colombard, sauvignon, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc
Certifications: Ecocert, Demeter
Sulfites: depending on cuvee 15-30 mg/l