Cosima’s vision includes organizing the Lantignié region’s bid for Cru status around the principles of organic farming as a minimum entry requirement for the Lantignié designated origin…
with the ultimate goal of adhering to the highest ecological standards in Beaujolais. Her group of 18 like-minded friends, all young vignerons, are the next generation in Beaujolais and in Lantignié. They are working together, pooling resources, trading expertise, equipment, and vineyards. This communal atmosphere and openness to change and progressive ideals has created an electric feeling in the up-and-coming Lantignié region, which makes it the most exciting Beaujolais village to watch.
Château des Vergers ancient cellar provides ample space and timeless tools for making Beaujolais in a natural, traditional method. Harvest is by hand in small buckets, with gentle handling of the whole bunches. The bunches undergo a semi-carbonic maceration of ten to seventeen days before a very slow pressing using the château’s incredible, centuries-old vertical press. The old-wooden press is turned by the entire team once an hour for 24 hours, which provides just the right amount of pressure without extracting bitter elements. The press also naturally yields a clear must that does not need to be filtered or clarified. The must is racked into the château’s old, traditional concrete vats, where native yeasts carry out a spontaneous fermentation. Cosima theorizes the concrete tanks, with their inherent imperfections, give the natural yeasts tiny spots to cling to the sides of the tank, resulting in more robust, healthy fermentations. Malolactic fermentation is also natural and spontaneous. In this regard, her winemaking is as it had been in the region for centuries. Sulfur is not used in the winemaking process, and she adds only a small amount at bottling if needed. Her objective is “to produce terroir wines that are alive, with a soul,” wines that are as natural as possible, but also clean wines, without defects, as she has great respect for her customers.
All of her work sets the stage for Cosima Bassouls, her Château des Vergers, and the young Beaujolais Lantignié region. This is just the beginning, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.