I dropped for a short visit without advance warning at the Touraine winery Domaine Jacky Preys, wondering if there were things of interest going on in mid september. Jacky Preys was there as well as his wife and he was a bit worried with a conveyor belt breakdown which prevented him to take away the pomace from under the press. His son had left very early in the morning, like 3am or something like that, to pick at the conveyor-belt plant somewhere in France the very important metal part that they had to replace urgently. A heap of pomace could be seen lying underneath the big pneumatic press and this was supposed to be fixed in a few hours, after his son would have brought back the part here.
Jacky Preys still found the time to make me taste a few juices and wines in their early stages, and this is always interesting. At some point, he walked to a big stainless-steel vat and he poured me a glass of fermenting Sauvignon vat with the tap. It tasted like it was already turning into wine, this is not an easy time to taste a wine, it's not the gorgeous sugary drink anymore and hasn't revealed its wine features yet. Plus the lees were particularly thick at the level where the tap was situated, and it made the juice more bitter. So Jacky took a ladder and filled a glass at the top to show me how different the wine/juice was there. Indeed it tasted wholly different, in part because the lees had already begun to go down and were mostly absent at the surface, it was more balanced and smooth, I would say (not sure balance is the right word at this stage). Now I could feel two different expressions of a wine in the same vat. Interesting.
You can see on this picture how the juice bubbles with the fermentation. Jacky Preys relies on the wild yeasts for the vinification, which translates into longer élevage before bottling compared to the average winery around here, and he uses minimal amounts of SO2.
Jack Preys leaves the wines ferment at their own pace and on their own indigenous yeasts, and the wines are thus relased quite late compared with the norm, being routinely bottled a year and a half after the harvest.
The three varieties are harvested and pressed together (direct press), which gives a very tender type of color. Jacky Preys has been making this wine almost from the start. It's labelled under the Touraine Appellation.
This made me wonder if I somehow passed Jacky Preys' 3-Pinots rosé in my regular visits, and I'll try this Pineau d'Aunis-majority blend one of these days. It's odd that I kind of rediscover this Gris-de-Touraine wine after taking part to a harvest of Vin Gris de Joigny...