A yearly work in accordance with the vegetative cycle of the vine.
Throughout these months, we prune the grapevines and at the same time we carry out different tasks :
- REPLANTING (if needed): Vine stocks that are too old or unproductive are grubbed up and replanted one by one.
- CRUSHING VINE SHOOTS : once the vine shoots have been pulled, they are crushed. We use a flail mulcher at the back of the tractor. The vine shoots are then crushed and pulverised into small pieces, which decompose and turn into compost
- WEDGING (CALAGE) OR VINE STOCK TYING : every year, we check each vine stock. It must be held in place with plasticized binds.
- FOLDING : once the wedging is done, we carry out the FOLDING. The “aste” (the longest fruit branch on a vine stock) is encircled and fastened to the wire with a fastening machine.
- the « CARRASSONAGE » or « SECAILLAGE » (VINEYARD MAINTENANCE): in each row we check the state of the posts. The broken ones are replaced, so that the vines are properly supported.
During this month, we carry out the « EPAMPRAGE » or PRICKING and we treat the vine.
- the “épamprage” or vine shoot pricking: the “PAMPRES” or VINE SHOOTS grow in May. The first pricking at the foot of the vine stock is done with a machine. At the top (in the fork) it is done by hand with a billhook.
- the treatments : first against the mildew and powdery mildew. They will be repeated every fourteen days.
This can be done all along the summer if needed (TRIMMING, VINE SHOOT PRICKING)
During the beginning of summer, very important work is done :
- The LIFTING : Every four vine stocks, wood posts are hammered in. A wire (lifter) is stretched halfway up the plants and on each side of the row. The LIFTING consists of lifting these wires according to the growth of the vine stocks. The wires are placed on the pins which are on the posts and are held by biodegradable staples.
2016 was a particular year since the veraison started from the 20th of August and the harvest only started on the 10th of September and lasted until the 25th of October.
The average age of our vines: 25 years old.
The Soils : Clay limestone (typical of our Entre-deux-Mers region)
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW !
You can sometimes see a rose bush in front of a row of vines. Rose bushes used to be planted between each row. It alerted us to the possible contamination of the vines by a very widespread disease in our culture: the mildew.
Today, this method is far less used, for researchers have found that the MILDEW which affects the STRAIN OF THE VINE is not the same as the one that affects the STRAIN OF THE ROSE
Consequently, if you can still see some rose bushes, here and there, it’s more for aesthetics.
For the Cellar Master, the time of the HARVEST is unquestionably the most important. Especially as Simon carries out this task for the first time at Maison Noble! Concentration, reactivity and a good physical and mental state are essential to successfully complete the reception of the 75 ha of harvest.
The date of the HARVEST is decided according to several criteria :
It’s currently the most reliable factor, for it is linked to acidity. The berries are simply going to be tasted (skin, pulp and pips).
Our chai/wine storehouse is atypical! It is made of several rooms, each one defined by a vinified wine:
Most of our stainless steel vats have a capacity of 100 hectolitres, which allow us to vinify each parcel separately (1 parcel for one vat).
Nearly all our vats are thermo-regulated, so we can control the wine temperature from the vinification, including the aging and developing, as well as the storing.
In 2006, Maison Noble purchased a new chai/wine storehouse, in Caumont (5km), its building, and 30 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce red wine. This wine storehouse is made of 12 stainless steel vats of 200 hectolitres. It’s another place which is used for the reception of the harvest.
As for the growing, we work on our own (automatic sorter, vinimatic, pneumatic presses, cross-flow filters and thermo vinification…)
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW !
If our wine storehouses are so complex to visit and so to use for our Cellar Master, it’s because we didn’t want to demolish the existing walls, for we are proud of our heritage.
All the wines we produced are bottled on the estate, that is to say 500 000 bottles.
Our bottling process line is complete:
We receive from our supplier for the most part " classical Bordeaux bottles "
We have to bottle wine regularly because of our annual work and work area, all throughout the year. We rarely bottle more than 100 hectolitres.
We also store our bottles and our non-liquid goods in the same place. There, we prepare our orders, almost every day. They can consist of several pallets or a few boxes for private individuals.
The Cellar Master (with the help of his workers) must manage all this with great care.
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW !
The packaging step often depends on each staff member’s time, and so the secretary, the saleswoman, or even the manager, can take care of specific and urgent orders.