glossary of terms


Glossary of Terms

Argilo-calcaire - clay mixed with chalk or limestone.
Barrique - barrel or cask, nowadays usually containing 225 litres
Biodynamic - An alternative approach to viticulture in which organic methods and homeopathic treatments are used. Vineyard practises are timed to coincide with the movements of the moon and planets.
Cave - wine cellar
Caviste - specialist wine retailer
Cépage - grape variety
Cépage améliorateur - grape variety, usually Syrah or Mourvèdre encouraged by the authorities to replace older lessvalued wines.
Chai (s) - winery, for vinification and/or storing
Cuve - a vat of any material.
Cuvée - the wine drawn off one or more vats.
Dosage - The topping up of sparkling wines prior to corking with a mixture of wine and sugar to determine the final style of the wine from Brut to Doux.
Garrigue - a heath-like terrain valued for its wild herbs and flowers.
Hectare - an area of 10,000 sq metres, about 2.5 acres.
Hectolitre - 100 litres
Macération - the leaving of the grape skins, stalks, pulp, and juice in contact with each other either before, during or after fermentation
Macération carbonique - a winemaking technique where the grapes are not crushed but allowed to disintegrate by themselves under a protective layer of carbonic gas.
Mono-cépage - a wine made from a single grape variety, a varietal
Pigeage - the breaking up of the chapeau to give fermenting juice access to the solids
Saignage - drawing off pink juice from fermenting red grapes to make vin rosé
Schist/schiste - shale, a flaking brittle soil
Vendange en vert - the picking of bunches of unripe grapes to promote quality and concentration in the remaining bunches
Vin de pays - a wine from a recognised locality but not within an area of AOC, also a wine made within an AOC but which does not comply with the rules of the appellation.
Vintage - a style of red vin doux naturel which is bottled young and allowed to mature like port