In the quiet village of Pupillin just north of Arbois is a sign beside the road that proudly announces: World Capital...Read more...
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In the quiet village of Pupillin just north of Arbois is a sign beside the road that proudly announces: World Capital of Ploussard”. It was vigneron Pierre Overnoy who established the unyielding purist precept that wines should be made without the addition of sulphur. Pierre's father originally made zero-sulphur wine, but Pierre, who did his internship in Burgundy, experimented with it, until tasting the difference between his father's wines and his own convinced him that the zero-sulphur wine had a finer aroma. The vines and the cellar are now in the hands of Pierre Overnoy's protégé, Emmanuel Houillon, who fully espouses the philosophy of his mentor. Without sulphur the quality of the grapes has to be exceptional; everything in the vineyard is done totally organically, yields are never more than 35hl/ha and Houillon turns the top six inches of soil, cutting the surface roots and thus depriving the plant's of the topsoil's potassium which otherwise combines with tartaric acid and lowers their acidity. In the cellars the selected grapes undergo a semi-carbonic maceration in a covered vessel, with CO2 added at the start before the fermentation supplies its own. To keep the bacteria from multiplying, the temperature is held to about 8C for about ten days of maceration. Then the temperature is allowed to rise and fermentation begins. The white grapes are immediately pressed and their juice is also protected with CO2. After the initial active phase some of the white wines continue to ferment a year or more, virtually all in old oak barrels of various sizes. Houillon is opposed to adding anything to the wine. No new oak barrels influence the taste - some of the barrels in use are a century old. Before bottling, the wines are neither filtered nor fined and they retain a lot of CO2, which has an antioxidant effect and helps to convey aroma. The maceration and fermentation give little colour to the Ploussard, with its fine skin. Grown in Jura since the 13th century Poulsard's names are legion: ploussard, peloussard, pulsard, polozard, mescle dans l'Ain. What an enchanting oddity! Such colour - pale colour with flickering orange, a mad bouquet with plenty of sous-bois and fruits (cherries and strawberries) in eaux de vie. A silky spice trail in the mouth: redcurrants, bilberries and rhubarb tied up with liquorice shoelaces. Worth the detour.
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