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How to make a mineral wine? Relationship between productiontype in the Chablis vineyard andthe search for a mineral wine style

Abstract : Minerality in wine has consistently gained attention from the wine industry in the last threedecades. It has been considered for a long time as an ill-defined and controversial sensoryattribute. In the last decade, several academic articles have addressed the conceptual, sensoryand chemical delimitation of this fuzzy concept. However, the link to viticulture and winemakingprocesses has not been studied yet. The goal of this work was twofold: first to produce a typologyof practices in Chablis Premier Cru, a PDO (known for its mineral wines) and, second, to explorehow Chablis producers conceptualise wine minerality and its link to production practices.We hypothesized that Chablis producers aim to maximise the minerality of their winesand adapt their production strategy accordingly. Two interviews were carried out.Thirty-four wine producers from Chablis participated in the typology interview, of whichtwenty-seven also participated in the minerality interview. A typology analysis of theproducers’ viticultural and winemaking practices revealed four types of production strategies(Conventional, Natural, Agroecology and Low Input Winemaking). A short semi-structuredinterview of the producers’ opinions of and attitudes towards minerality and practices leadingto wine minerality highlighted the key aspects of the production of mineral wines, namely soilcharacteristics, harvest date, type of yeasts, fermentation temperature, type of ageing containersand intensity of lees contact, among others. A link between the respondents’ production practicesand their minerality conceptualisation was found: in some cases, the representation of mineralityseemed to be a result of the applied production strategy and not only the other way around;i.e., these winemakers conclude that because their wines are mineral their respective productionpractice is the best one for making mineral wines, without having deliberately chosen it to makemineral wines.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 15, 2022 - 2:49:11 PM
Last modification on : Monday, August 1, 2022 - 4:03:48 PM

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Heber Rodrigues, Dominique Valentin, Méven Otheguy, Jordi Ballester. How to make a mineral wine? Relationship between productiontype in the Chablis vineyard andthe search for a mineral wine style. OENO One, Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (Université de Bordeaux), 2022, 56 (2), pp.29-45. ⟨10.0.81.134/oeno-one.2022.56.2.4856⟩. ⟨hal-03643138⟩

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