The harvest is carried out at optimum maturity to guarantee aromatic freshness as well as silky tannins. This period complex in decision is determined following regular tastings of the grapes from the different plots. The dominant black merlot, main variety on our property is picked first. Generally, the cabernet franc, then later sauvignon follow with 5 to 10 days later.
We harvest in two ways:
Manually, with a team of pickers for the youngest vines as well as the oldest, and mechanically, for the rest of the property with a PELLENC OPTIMUM type machine with on-board sorter. The use of the machine allows us to react as accurately as possible to the optimum ripeness of the grape by its speed of implementation. With the advent of the OPTIMUM range, PELLENC puts innovation at the service of excellence and performance, for a new approach to viticulture reconciling the quality of the harvest, respect for the environment, profitability and ease of use.
We have two winemaking cellars: a very traditional one with thermoregulate cement vats to vinify merlot, and a thermoregulated stainless steel vats to vinify Cabernet.
This choice of distribution between cement and stainless steel is mainly due to the heat exchange capacity. Merlot is collected closer to the summer heat, is generally warmer at the entrance to the cellar, even if we often harvest at night. To compensate the temperature in hot years, we preferably use cement tanks. As Cabernet harvest is more advanced in the Autumn, we can use stainless steel tanks, which are often more practical.
Each plot is vinified separately, which allows to extract the original expression of our terroir.
The main principle of winemaking is to let the fruit of the wine express itself while seeking to extract only what the grape can give us. To accompany the fruit, we use different extraction techniques depending on the origin of grape variety. Only the weekly tasting of the different batches shows us the way to take. Then, some batches are entered for malolactic fermentation, the others remain in vats.
The breeding is always done in separate batches. Part of the truncated wooden vats are filled over the malolactic fermentation, the rest of the batches continue in their respective vinification vats.
This type of vats gives a way for expression of the fruit of wine and its future drinkability. We are working on the future pleasure that should not be hurt by too exuberant woody ageing.
In the wooden vat, with controlled temperature and humidity, our cru will age peacefully over 12 to 14 months. The ease of monitoring truncated wooden vats allows us to react quickly on each batch if necessary. Twice a month, we taste all the batches. Most of the rackings are done by gravity.
Last step before bottling: the blending. On a collegial decision, between management board, our technical team and our consultant Claude GROS, the blend must be the perfect expression of the vintage while respecting the DNA of our property and its terroir. The wine is bottled at property late in the Spring or early Autumn, then stored in an air-conditioned space during the hot summer months to be delivered to customers from September, 2 years later after the harvest.