THE CHOICE OF « THE BEST » AND WHAT IT TAKES TO PRODUCE A QUALITY WINE.
Pruning follows the “guyot double” method which means we keep two branches per plant: these are the ones that will produce grapes the following year. We choose the length of each branch according to its variety, to its age and to its strength so that the quality of the grapes we pick is maximum: we need enough production to please our customers but any excess would harm the quality.
Under normal weather conditions, we generally pick 12 bunches of grapes per plant which comes down to just over one bottle of wine per plant.
We then remove, by hand, the small useless shoots so that the main branches grow better.
Then comes the flowering and with it the prospect of the harvest roughly 110 days later.
Right after “flowering”, generally at the end of June, comes the thinning: we get rid of the leaves facing the rising sun or the north at the bottom of the plants so that the bunches of grapes get well aired, more sun and less humidity. Some years, thinning is also necessary on the other side of the plants towards the end of July.
Generally, harvesting takes place roughly 40 days after the grapes start changing color (this is called ”veraison”): at this stage we proceed with the “green harvest” and handpick the less beautiful bunches in order to reduce the quantity of grapes and better the quality; we then also start tasting and testing until the proper date for the final harvest is chosen.
We use the latest harvesting machines equipped with an integrated selecting board that removes the unwanted leaves and twigs and can also work by night (picking cold grapes which according to weather conditions can be a factor of quality).
Mechanical harvesting is also quicker and allows us to pick the grapes when perfectly mature.
Once the picking completed we start fertilizing a very natural process owing to the manure we collect from the animals grown on the farm next to Château Maison Noble and the soil is now ready for the following year!