The veil is lifted on this art here so amateurs can better understand the work required each day.
Focus through the seasons
From the 1st of November, the grapevine is pruned to select the branches that will bear fruits. The vine stock is centred and prevented from growing in height.
The vine shoots are removed and burnt to prevent any disease from spreading.
Damaged stakes and wires are repaired.
The remaining shoots are trained following the “Guyot” training system.
The earth is turned to remove weeds and air the ground with a mechanical tractor.
Selection and removal by hand of redundant buds.
Ploughing and treatment
Fight against diseases with reasonable means if required.
Addition of two lateral wires to tighten and align the plants.
Second tie in
The grapevine can grow by 6 inches a day. It is therefore necessary to tie it in a second time.
The top of the grapevine is pruned.
The grapevine is pruned once more to make it rectangular in shape and make it easier for people and machines to go through the rows.
Samples are collected to evaluate the maturity of the grapes and set the date of the harvest. This step is done three or four times, until a date is set. The grape and its sugar content are analysed, thus indicating the alcohol content of the future wine.
Preparation of the harvest team
About 30 people are hired and the equipment is prepared
The harvest last several days.
The grapes are sorted manually to remove rotten or green grapes
Masking and stripping
The fruits are removed from the stems and crushed mechanically.
Analysis of the harvest
A little grape juice is taken from the vat to be analysed.
The grapes are placed in a vat for the alcoholic fermenting process to be triggered.
The juice is removed from the vat.
The grapes are pressed in a wine press.
Operation consisting in separating the clear juice from material in suspension, called sludge, that deposits at the bottom of the vat.
The wine is transferred from the vats to casks in the cellar.
Topping up the casks
A cask “drinks” one glass of wine each week, it therefore has to be topped up.
Separation of clear wines and deposits.
Preparation for bottling
The wines will be ready to drink 18 to 24 months after the harvest.