September, the summer is coming to an end, a certain effervescence begins to rise, quietly. The bunches are beautiful, the taste maturity checks are about to begin. The tension is rising, we are refining by laboratory analysis of the grapes to know the sugar, acidity and PH levels in particular. The plots will be harvested individually according to their maturity.
The grape harvest
The weather forecast is consulted for the umpteenth time and the harvest is finally getting under way. The stress of waiting gives way to the adrenalin of the action. For three weeks, daily life will be punctuated by the cutting of the bunches of grapes, the reception of the skips and crates, the direct pressing of the grapes for the rosé wines and the vatting for the red wines.
The grape harvest reception
We practice manual harvesting for the red wines, both manual and mechanical harvesting for the rosés. For the Arakao vintage we use crates to preserve the total integrity of the grapes. For the other vintages we use a vibrating tray skip. This system prevents the grapes from passing through an endless screw and thus from being crushed when unloaded.
We are in the second half of October, the grapes have come in and the fermentations of the first vats are coming to an end. Until the end of November, it's the work of the must, pumping over, racking over, sub-drawing, temperature control. Each cuvée is worked according to the type of wine we want to obtain.
Fermentations are finished, for the red wines there is still the devatting. Operation that consists in removing the grapes that remained with the juice during fermentation. They will be pressed and integrated or not depending on the vintage.
That's it, the wines can start their maturation. After the agitation, the noise of the pumps and the press, the cellar is strangely calm. For us, in spite of the fatigue, it is the happiness of the work accomplished, once again. After a little rest for both man and vine, the long vegetative cycle will resume in April for a new vintage.