Hello, my name is Axelle.
As part of my work with Virginie In Provence, I had the opportunity to visit the Domaine Terre de Mistral in Rousset, Provence. In this article, I will share my experience of visiting this fabulous estate.
I. Domaine Terre de Mistral in Rousset, Provence - Introduction
Upon my arrival, Leila took care of me. She was responsible for showing me around the vineyard and telling me the family's story. I was eager to learn more about this estate, which I knew absolutely nothing about. My visit unfolded in three main stages:
Presentation of the vineyards and the story of Terre de Mistral
Behind-the-scenes tour of the wine production
II. Domaine Terre de Mistral in Rousset, Provence - What is its history?
Established in late 2007, the Terre de Mistral estate in Provence is owned by Serge and Nadia Davico. A former president of the Rousset cooperative, Serge Davico was passionate about creating a wine that reflected his character. This is why he and his wife were keen on producing their own wine. Today, they own 65 hectares of vineyards in Rousset, featuring different grape varieties:
III. Domaine Terre de Mistral in Rousset, Provence - Some things I didn't know
The vines are replanted every 40 years and irrigated every three weeks.
As for grape harvesting, it takes place at the end of August or the beginning of September, depending on the weather.
It's approximately a three-week harvest for the 65 hectares. Harvesting occurs between 4 and 10 in the morning for freshness reasons.
IV. Domaine Terre de Mistral in Rousset, Provence - But how does the harvest take place ?
We now come to one of the most complex and fascinating aspects, in my opinion. Before this visit, I didn't realize that winemaking involved so many precise actions.
A. Steps in the Harvest at Domaine Terre de Mistral in Rousset, Provence
The first step is grape harvesting using a harvester.
The second step is the transportation of the grapes using a transport trailer.
The third step involves pressing the grapes in the "Pompe à Marc." After fermentation (4 hours with the grape skins for rosé and 6 hours for white wine), the skins, seeds, and stems remain in the fermentation tank or press. The "Pompe à Marc" is used to transfer these solid residues.
The fourth step is to remove impurities that escaped the previous step using a press. This is essentially the juice filtration process because the grapes can still contain a significant amount of juice. The press is used to exert additional pressure and extract more juice.
The final step is to transfer the juice to settling tanks. Settling tanks are used for wine storage.
Different machines are used depending on the type of wine.
White and rosé wines ferment in stainless steel tanks.
Red wine is stored in a concrete tank to allow the wine to breathe.
The various wines are left to rest for 3 or 4 weeks before adding sulfites.
The wine is placed in a concrete tank for approximately 3 to 4 weeks. When the winemaker deems the wine well macerated, they will add yeast.
The yeast consumes the natural sugar present in the fruit.
The mixture gradually transforms into alcohol. After this step, sulfites are added, and the winemaker allows the wine to work for about 12 months.
After 12 months, the red wine is transferred to stainless steel tanks. Stainless steel tanks are better for preserving the wine because they allow less air contact compared to concrete tanks.
The red wine remains in the concrete tank for another year, while white and rosé wines ferment for 5 to 6 months.
Approximately 1000 liters of wine can be put into each tank.
After fermentation in the tanks, some wines are placed in barrels for flavor considerations.
At Terre de Mistral, there are two types of barrels: large and small. Larger barrels have fewer aromas.
There are oak and acacia barrels. Oak barrels are reserved for red and white wines, while acacia barrels are reserved for rosé.
White and rosé wines can be aged in barrels for up to 8 months, while red wine can be aged for 18 months.
An important thing to know is that rosé should be consumed within 1 to 2 years at most.
Bottling is done using a machine, requiring four people to handle the process, producing approximately 1200 bottles per hour.
The bottles from Domaine Terre de Mistral bear the names of family members.
You can find :
Nadia: Serge Davico's wife
Rosalie: Serge Davico's mother
Pauline: Serge Davico's daughter
V. Tasting at Domaine Terre de Mistral in Rousset, Provence
We now move on to a delightful (no pun intended) part of this visit: the tasting.
I'm not extremely knowledgeable about wine, but I learned a lot during this visit.
Regarding the tasting, I sampled 6 different wines:
My favorite was the "Nadia." I can't tell you what notes I recognized, but I strongly recommend that you visit and taste for yourself!
I also had the opportunity to taste the olive oils from the estate located next to Terre de Mistral. One was spicy, and the other was "basic." Both were very different but very good and intense.
VI. Vocabulary at Domaine Terre de Mistral in Rousset, Provence
Here is a vocabulary list to help you understand the terms related to wine and oenology in general:
A vineyard: Un domaine
A winemaker: Un vigneron
A visit: Une visite
A wine: Un vin
The harvest: La récolte
A harvester: Une vendangeuse
Pressing: Un pressurage
Maceration: La macération
Fermentation: La fermentation
A barrel: Un tonneau
A bottle: Une bouteille
Olive oil: Une huile d'olive
Grapes: Les raisins
Grape varieties: Les cépages
Sulfites: Les sulfites
Yeasts: Des levures
Bottling: La mise en bouteille
Flavors: Les arômes
Rosé: Le rosé
White wine: Le blanc
Red wine: Le rouge
Hectare: Un hectare
Stainless steel tank: Une cuve en inox
Concrete tank: Une cuve en béton
Flavor: Une saveur
Culture: La culture
Gastronomy: La gastronomie
VII. My Experience at Domaine Terre de Mistral in Rousset, Provence
My visit to Domaine Terre de Mistral was incredibly enriching. I learned a lot, and I even discovered an interest in this domain that I never suspected. I strongly recommend taking a tour of this estate during your immersion stay; you won't be disappointed!
If you're coming for an immersion stay in Provence, I genuinely invite you to contact Virginie in Provence. She will be delighted to introduce you to the various aspects of Provence: the landscapes and scents, as well as the culture, gastronomy, all while helping you improve your French.