LOU. Y ES-TU?
Stephen Durieu de Lacarelle comes from a family of winemakers who have been making wine since 1755. He was working with his family, but in 2000, he and his wife Mathilde decided to go out on their own and create their own domaine. Later they named it LOU. Y ES-TU? The name is a slight variation to a French children's song/nursery rhyme, 'Loup y es-tu?' (Wolf, are you there?) - their daughter Louise's (Lou) favourite story.
Together, they farm 6.8 hectares of vines (6ha in Saint Etienne des Oullières, near Moulin-à-Vent, and 0.8ha in Salles Arbuissonnas). They have been certified organic since 2007.
The vines are 40-100+ years old, running up moderately steep slopes. The soils are predominantly made up of granite and sand, however, many rocks of different compositions can be found in amongst the vineyards.
There is no de-budding and no green harvest. Ploughing and mowing occurs 3 to 4 times a year. Bordeaux mix, sulphur and seaweed are used against mildew and odium, and no chemical fertilizers or herbicides are used. Harvesting is done by hand with sorting of the grapes taking place in the vineyard.
The grapes go into fiber-glass vats, and undergo carbonic maceration for between 5-10 days. The ferments then finish in concrete vats, and élevage is in concrete, except for the vieilles vignes which sees old oak. There is no punching down or pumping over, and the grapes ferment on their natural yeasts, with no additives being used whatsoever during vinification. Stephen uses 10mg/L sulphites at bottling (basically nothing). He has been vinifying naturally since 2009.