Operated under the watchful eye of Gilles and Pauline Bley, the family has been growing wine for several generations in this location. The admittance of their son, Baptiste, to agricultural school, all but ensures another generation will carry on the minimalist, organic, winegrowing beliefs of the Bley family.
Sitting near the middle of the wine region, south of the picturesque Lot river, Gilley Bley’s vineyard produces from 15 hectares using traditional methods and minimal intervention. Plowed soils have an aerated structure and limestone surfacing.
During harvest the grapes are handpicked and de-stemmed, natural yeasts are used during fermentation in steel vats or the traditional cement tanks. Bottles are unfiltered, and 5% Tannat is blended with Malbec in the traditional manner for the region.
Cahors, in southwest France, is the Bordeaux subregion where Malbec got its start and was notably exalted by Pope John XXII in the 14th Century. An Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOC) since 1971, there are approximately 4,400 hectares of vineyards in the region nestled amongst about 200 Domaines and Châteaux. Malbec is the dominant varietal and makes up 70% of the grapes grown, with the remainder Merlot and Tannat. The region has hot summers and wet winters and is influenced by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean.