The winegrower’s job
Be it in our vineyards or in our cellars, it is throughout the year and to the rhythm of the seasons that we are working so as to achieve an optimum grape harvest and to elaborate our wines according to our strict criteria
The winter months
The pruning season : a vine before the pruning and cut back to two “sticks” (the cutting back is called in “Guyot double”). It is manual work that is often done in rigorous weather conditions, which is why it is laborious.
The organic manuring : the winter ploughing makes the ground less compact and prepares it for the year to come.
Miscellaneous upkeep : the stakes are being repaired and replaced.
In the cellar : the first bottling session is performed at the end of the winter.
The spring months
The arching of the small branches : the branches are being arched so that the sap is distributed uniformly among the different buds.
Early April : the buds are starting to open.
May : beginning of the vegetative phase.
The thinning-out of the vines : the regrowth at the foot of the vine is removed by hand.
Ploughing : the spring ploughing is aimed at aerating the ground and preventing the growth of weeds.
Planting : young vines are being planted and the diseased vines are being replaced.
The summer months
June-July : the flowering.
Mid-June : the vines are in bloom. The fertilization will lead to the forming of the grapes; it is a delicate stage which often conditions the harvest to come (weather conditions; the frost factor).
The espaliering and the trimming of the vines : June and July are also periods of intense work. A tractor is used to put up wires that will draw the vine branches back up and then cut them with giant-size shears fixed on the tractor (it is the trimming of the vines).
Treatment : summer is also the season for different treatments, mainly for copper and sulphur treatments against the main enemies of vines, namely powdery and downy mildew. Several treatments are necessary throughout the summer months, as these fungi can cause the total loss of the harvest as well as the destruction of the vine.
Weeding : it consists in removing the weeds which compete with the vine for water and nutrients.
Mowing : as our vineyards have 50% grassed-over rows, it is necessary to regularly cut the grass
The ripening of the grapes : the vegetative growth of the vine stops; only the grapes go on ripening until early October; they become translucent and take their final colour.
The autumn months
The harvesting : after preparing and cleaning the cellar (the grape pickers’ baskets, the vats), a team of 20 or so people is going to harvest by hand the different grapes as they get ripe. The grape pickers sort out the grapes as they go along in order to eliminate the rotten or unripe grapes.
In the cellar : the fermentations and the vinifications are being monitored daily: fining, filtration, the removal of the espaliering wires. In addition, the bottles must be washed, labelled and sealed, the orders must be prepared and the wines must be marketed.