Located at the foot of the slope in Saint-Emilion, Daugay's vines have superb sun exposure conducive to excellent ripening. The 40-year old vines draw their strength and vitality from this outstanding terroir. Combining the coolness of clay and the filtering capacities of limestone, the soil offers just the right conditions for the various grape varieties. The ideal proportions of clay and limestone provide excellent natural drainage as well as relative freshness and all necessary trace elements. The blend of grape varieties – 50 % Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon – is perfectly suited to the soil and early-ripening microclimate.
Inspired by the methods used at Angélus, Château Daugay combines traditional expertise and state-of-the-art techniques to obtain the very best from their soil and grapes. This constant quest for quality led to a new look at vineyard practices and a turn toward sustainable viticulture.
Soil maintenance: A good terroir is not just rich in clay and limestone... It is also one where the soil is worked, well-aerated, and well-protected. Château Daugay decided to use green cover, i.e. letting grass grow between the vine rows. This very natural technique not only protects the soil from extreme weather conditions, but improves the quality of the grapes. Thanks to environmentally-responsible vineyard management, Château Daugay helps to protect animal and plant life and reduces soil pollution to an absolute minimum.
Leaf thinning: In June, towards mid-véraison (colour change), Château Daugay thins vine leaves to concentrate the grapes and to help them realise their full potential. The bunches are better ventilated this way as well, and take full advantage of the sunshine to reach complete ripeness without any major phytosanitary risks.
Green harvesting: When necessary, Château Daugay practises "green harvesting". This traditional method consists of removing bunches of underripe grapes in order to enhance ripening. It results in fewer berries, which means that remaining ones, and the resulting wine, are more aromatic and flavoursome .
After months of effervescence in the vineyard, the time comes for a magic transformation to take place in the cellar, where the wine is made in the greatest secret according to the rules of the art, with ageing in stainless steel vats and oak barrels. More than just a wine, Château Daugay is above all "a way of glorifying the vine" thanks to state-of-the-art facilities.
The grapes are meticulously hand picked. Quality is a priority at every stage from the time the ripe fruit is harvested until it goes into vat. The grapes are carefully inspected on a vibrating sorting table and any that are less than perfect are discarded. The grapes are sorted once again after destemming. In order to keep the fruit intact during transport from the vine to the fermentation vat, Château Daugay invested in a peristaltic pump to avoid oxidation and bruising the fruit.
Both modern and traditional, fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. The cellarmaster keeps a very close eye on its development. He aims for gentle extraction with manual pumping over and pigeage (punching down the cap).
After maceration, which lasts 3-4 weeks, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in stainless steel and/or new oak barrels for several weeks.
A wine's quality is above all due to the commitment and enthusiasm of the people who make it. At Château Daugay every single winemaking procedure is done with the greatest of care, with numerous quality checks to guarantee the best the terroir has to offer as well as great aromatic complexity. All the wine is château-bottled for complete quality control from beginning to end.