LEVIN Wines is certified organic in the winery and takes a clean, ‘new world’ approach in the winery to allow the aromatic characters of the fruit present itself. The grapes are handpicked into small buckets by expert pickers and hand sorted on a table at the vineyard. At the winery, they are sorted again into the destemmer and chilled before entering the press, ensuring only pristine grapes are crushed and no oxidative characters develop.
During vintage, the Levins work closely with their local-born Loire Valley organic winemaker, Emmanuel Bienvenu to decide on grape picking and approaches in the winery, with deference to physiological ripeness, flavour and the biodynamic calendar (fruit and leaf days).
Temperature-controlled stainless steel fermenters allow cold stabilisation, very cool ferment and fine-tuning of the aromatic and alcoholic fermentation using natural yeasts.
Generally, the Sauvignon Blanc fermentation begins at 10ºC and is increased to 18ºC, over 10 days. After tasting evaluation, the temperature might be decreased to 8ºC to ‘stress’ the yeasts to maximise the aromatics. Over the course of a month, it might be first increased to 18ºC and then 20ºC to finish aromatic fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation was then completed over approximately 12 days. For fining, only bentonite clay is used (rather than isinglass or egg whites), so the wines remain vegan throughout production.
Throughout the year, viticulture in the Bourré, Oisly and Choussy vineyards is led by Emmanuel with family team Bernard Frerejacques (who has been with the domaine for more than 15 years). Local forestier, farmer and chateaux conservateur, David de Schrynmakers, assists with the organic and biodynamic preparation (including companion planting and sowing the vineyards with herbs to balance soil nutrients) and development of new vineyard plantings.