After the two varieties grapes have been carefully picked from different parcels and sorted, the vinification process begins. The grapes are vinified following simple, natural and traditional methods, which respect the particulars of the grapes, of the harvest, of the soil and of the year's weather. That is why our vintages , even though there's underlying resemblance in their global flavor, show off a specific character every year. The fermentation process, conducted under temperature controlled conditions, is carefully monitored, with a constant eye for sanitary conditions, one of Fabienne Balotte obsessions. Based on regular analysis, the length of fermentation -from 2 to 4 weeks-, and the frequency of the gently performed pumping, are conducted according to the proven advice of our long-time dedicated oenologists. The new wine is then allowed to rest for a while before being transferred into barrels.


The maturing of the wine in oak barrels -at least 30% of which are new every year-, from 12 to 15 months, gives the wine a touch of wood : not too much, not too little, but just the right balance, a sticking point to Fabienne Balotte. The maturing wine is regularly tasted, the barrels are regularly siphoned to eliminate bottom lees, and are regularly refilled.

Then, a final traditional clarification with egg whites gives the wine its luminous limpidity. Finally, about 18 months after the harvest, 18 months of long, diligent and careful toil, the time comes to assemble the final blend, and to give life to the Château Fonrazade Vintage and to a second wine.



Based on numerous tastings and analysis in an effort to squeeze the very best from the vintage in terms of structure, bouquet, flavor and aging predispositions, the final say-so on what will be offered belongs to Fabienne Balotte, who aims to optimize the entire wine-making process.
All the wines are bottled at the Château. The choice and quality of the corks, the type of bottles, the upkeep of sanitary conditions, everything is focused towards an optimal final conditioning, and to ensure the best ageing potential of the wine. Carefully kept in temperature controlled cellars, the wine improves as it ages in the bottles. After several years, once deemed ready, the wines may be offered for sale.
Carefully cured vines, good-quality grapes, traditional vinification processes, professional monitoring by experts oenologists, barrels-maturing, bottling at the Chateau, and ageing in our cellars, all that work finally comes together to yield a typical Fonrazade wine, proudly representative of the "AOC Saint Emilion Grand Cru" denomination : a wine that is supple, hearty, easy-to-drink, elegantly fruity, well structured, and with a good ageing potential.