Although this is an emotional period, it’s also a complex one, because during the 18-20 days that we spend picking the grapes on our (nearly) 1,500 parcels of land, we have to perfectly coordinate the efforts of the 400 vintners and day labourers in the vineyards as well those of the staff who are working in the winery.
Like every year, the harvesting is done in stages, following the technical instructions of the Sonsierra team at all times. On the basis of their assessment of ripeness and their numerous inspections on site, they determine the ideal moment for picking the grapes in each parcel.
The grapes that we use to produce our wines are harvested manually in all 490 hectares of our vineyards. Only the best bunches are picked, to ensure that the finest qualities of our vineyards – which are our greatest asset – can shine through.
The grapes in each trailer-load that reaches the winery are visually examined and analysed, in order to determine which preparation tank they’ll be placed in depending on the type of wine.
Later, during the subsequent winemaking process, more than 2,500 complete analyses will be carried out and 400 tastings performed for the various fermentation tanks and barrels, in order to make the appropriate decision for each tank and barrel. We’ll have to define the fermentation temperature, the pumping-over process, the maceration, the de-vatting, decanting and more, producing an average of 110 different preparations.
A total of 225 new barrels of French and American oak, selected from the best cooperages, complete the process by contributing their key qualities to certain of our wines in order to bring out the maximum expression of their character.