Domaine de Galouchey is a micro-estate, .94 hectare, located in the Libournais region of Bordeaux. Winemaker and owner Marco Pelletier mischievously names his wine vin de jardin to contrast with vins de garage (garagistes). He thus emphasizes not only that the Galouchey vineyard is essentially a small garden but also underscores that wines properly derive from nature, not from a garage.
Marco Pelletier, a French Canadian from Montreal, is one of the best-known and respected sommeliers in France. He trained at Michel Rostang beginning in 1999, then, in 2003, became chef sommelier first at three-star Taillevent and, in 2008, at the three-star Epicure, all in Paris. Among other activities, Marco presently owns and operates the much-celebrated bistro Vantre in Paris’ fashionable 11th arrondisement.
The Domaine vines were planted in 2002 on virgin land that had never been cultivated. Thus it has never known either fertilizer, pesticide or any other chemical application. The viticulture is moreover completely organic, and the vineyard is worked entirely by hand. The vines are planted at a density of 6200/ha and yield 39hL/ha.
Each of the nine varieties is separately harvested by hand at ideal phenolic ripeness. The grapes are manually de-stemmed, berry by berry. Since there is no foulage (crushing), the must is principally free-run, with the addition of some pure juice from a soft horizontal pressing of the marc. Each variety is separately fermented in stainless steel (to avoid addition of sulphur) over indigenous yeasts. Marco avoids any extraction, with limited pumping-over only to keep the cap from drying out. After the alcoholic fermentation is complete, the young wine is racked into stainless vats where malolactic fermentation begins; then racked again into 1-year old Bordeaux barrels to age, generally for 16-18 months. There is no fining and only a “nominal”, light filtration at 3 microns.