Diane de Puymorin is a very passionate winemaker. She’s very proud of what she’s achieved over the last decade or so in making Chateau d’Or et de Gueules one of the top names in Costieres de Nîmes.
Mourvedre, Syrah, Carignan, Grenache Noir and Blanc, Roussanne and Rolle (Vermentino) all do well in this terroir of large rolled stones or galets. The proximity to the Mediterranean help to keep temperatures in check in what is a severely hot area throughout the Summer months. Being close to the Mediterranean also helps to make balanced wines as night time temperatures drop which allows the grapes to retain decent levels of natural acidity.
Diane vinifies all parcels separately which allows her to retain their particular characteristics and their stamp of terroir. Vinification is carried out differently for the various grape varieties. The delicate Carignan grapes are hand harvested in small 60 litre crates (just like the ones used at places like Chateau Palmer or Beaucastel) keeping the grapes intact. They then undergo carbonic maceration (as is the norm in Beaujolais) resulting in a fresh fruity style, that is low in tannin and displays the juicy savoury character of Carignan to a tee. Mouverdre on the other hand is vinified traditional using pigeage which is manually done and involves punching down the cap (the skins and solid matter that floats to the top of the fermentation vessel).
In January, Diane assembles the various cuvees and the ageing process starts proper in either concrete tanks or oak barriques. The choice of ageing vessel depends on the cuvee.
Once the wines have been allowed age (for between one and three years) they are then bottled, boxed and labelled in the domaine, ensuring everything is done perfectly, under the watchful eye of Diane.
Although not classified as organic Chateau d’Or et de Gueules operate with a real respect for the land and are in fact as green as just about anyone out there. They’re carbon neutral and produce their own electricity using a huge bank of solar panels located on the roof of one of their out buildings. They don’t use any pesticides, encourage the growth of grass and other plants between the vines and are always conscious of their role in protecting their special patch of land.