(En)Vignobles philippe mercadier sauternes

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Harvests and vinification



The combined effect of the heat and the fungus turns the grapes brown. The skins of the grapes become permeable and water is allowed to evaporate. The grapes then lose moisture and become more concentrated, resulting in very high levels of sugar and aromatic compounds.

Harvesting can then be done by hand, with each berry picked in successive selections, only stopping when rain falls as it's important that the grapes are dry when removed from the vine. A team of forty five pickers meticulously cover every inch of the vineyards to gather each grape, at its optimum level of concentration. This means they are botrytised, i.e. transformed by the noble rot. The others are left on the vine until the next selection is made. Harvests on our vineyards can thus stretch out from September to November, after four to eight successive selections.

Sweet wines more than deserve their name of "gold wines", rich and prized they are just as rare as the precious metal.

One vine only yields one glass, while at other vineyards it will yield an entire bottle.


We use pneumatic presses to press our grapes. The musts obtained then undergo gentle fermentation in small temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. These receptacles are the perfect way to control the fermentation process of our different batches.

Once fermented, the wines are aged in barrels over 18 months and regularly racked, before being bottled to acquire the qualities that come with maturity.

The great vintages can be aged like this for several decades. But don't trouble yourself with the hows and whys. Enjoy them as you wish, young or old. After all, the joy they bring is what matters most!