The grapes are hand-picked into wicker baskets and then transferred into small crates.
The crates weigh no more than 17 kilos, ensuring that the grapes are not compacted and arrive intact for pressing. If sorting is necessary, this is carried out manually directly in the vineyard before the harvest. And if this is not sufficient, it is done by the pickers and then by the basket emptiers and if necessary by sorters. It can be very drastic if the harvest has been damaged. Sorting on arrival in the cellar cannot be as accurate as in the vineyard. This is because as it's transported, the mycelium of the rot mixes with the healthy grapes and even after careful sorting, traces of this grey powder full of bacteria will remain.
We generally start harvesting when phenolic ripeness is perfect. While physiological maturity is easy to check (sugar and acidity content in the grapes), the maturity of the tannins, the flavours and everything that makes up the complexity of the fruits is more challenging to identify.
In early June, Nature provides us with all the factors we need to calculate the date of the harvest.
In general, the natural concentration at this time is accompanied by a drop in volume, and therefore in future revenues…
But is it better to think about the potential profitability of a harvest, or about the authenticity of the wines???
WINE BUILDINGSThe new buildings completed in 2002 are constructed on four levels. The grapes are delivered to the highest level where they are de-stemmed and pressed. The harvest is transported by gravity through stainless steel pipes to the wooden tanks in the fermentation room on the floor below. The lower levels consist of three cellars, two cask cellars and the bottle storage cellar. Optimum functionality is provided by this new building which combines the modern with the traditional.
We have only one rule: there are no rules!
Traditional and natural vinification, adapted to the state of the harvest, with total, partial or no de-stemming, frequent punching down, blending of first pressings and one or two additional pressings (on our new high-tech vertical press). Maceration and fermentation take place in open conical oak vats only, in the traditional way, with a maceration period of 10 to 20 days. Chaptalisation is rare and carefully measured. Temperatures are controlled by an intelligent computer-aided system.