The Michel philosophy is 'Let the wine make itself, as far as possible'. In sticking to this philosophy Jean Luc Michel uses no barrels. He vinifies strictly in stainless steel vats equipped with a cooling system that allows total control over the temperature, and thus the rate, of the fermentation. His objective is to make wines which retain the distinctiveness of the vineyards from which they are produced. This differs from barrel- fermenting in which the ambient temperature, and the conditions during the fermentation, may have as much effect upon the character of the resulting wine as does the vineyard from which it was produced. The use of oak can sometimes compensate for the lack of fruit in a wine; Michel, however, must rely entirely on modest yields to produce the concentration and intensity of character for which his wines are known.