Pruning is the fundamental operation in vineyard labour.
It is what determines the quality of the production and longevity of the vineyards.
Our entire estate is gobelet-pruned, a traditional technique where the vines are clipped short to adapt to the characteristics of our terroir (wind, dryness, lack of mechanical intervention) and the qualitative objectives of our wines. VINEYARD LABOUR
Each variety is pruned to its own distinctive shape to ensure the optimal balance between yield and quality.
Today we enjoy the legacy of a wine estate planted with Grenache Noir vine stocks that are nearly a century old. The fruit of several successive generations of labour ensures an exceptional grape quality.
Today, our cultural practices therefore demand that we maintain the old vines in a productive state for as long as possible by performing an age-old technique that consists of replacing each vine stock, one by one, when it dies. However, when the young stocks are depleted, we have to completely renew the vineyard. We then plant other varieties: Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache gris, Grenache blanc, Vermentino. VINEYARD LABOUR
Replacement of missing vine stocks
The objective of applying manure is to provide the vines with the nutritive elements that they need, in an eco-friendly way.
The typicality of our schist terroir is to make the soil very acidic.
The “basal” manure that we apply every two years therefore has a limestone (lime) base, unlike the organic fertiliser we spread annually, which naturally integrates into the environment. In both cases, these fertilisers are applied manually. VINEYARD LABOUR
Harvesting sufficiently ripe grapes requires perfectly mastering the pest control conditions of the wine estate. Our greatest asset for guaranteeing a “healthy” wine estate is the wind, or tramontane, which prevents the development of the two major diseases, powdery mildew and downy mildew.
LE TRAVAIL DES VIGNES
Protecting the crops
To complement the tramontane, we manually apply a preventive treatment (carried on workers’ backs) to our vineyards. We exclusively use sulphur (for the powdery mildew) and copper (for the downy mildew) – both organic inputs – to prevent any outbreaks.
The high density of plantation in our wine estate (8,000 vine stocks per hectare) would quickly lead to the inextricable tangling of the branches if we did not perform careful trellising.
The foremost objective is to enable free circulation between the rows. This keeps the tramontane from breaking the branches and especially fosters the grapes’ exposition to the sun, bringing them to an optimal level of ripeness.
The trellising is manually performed by attaching the vine branches to the stakes in two phases (May/July).
Harvesting the grapes in a perfect state of ripeness is the prerequisite for the preparation of a great wine. That is therefore the objective of all our wine-growing practices. But by far the most important factor in their success is our terroir.
After a year of work, harvesting time finally arrives. The groundwork is laid; all the elements are coming into balance. Our manual harvests are performed over a long period, generally beginning around August 15th for the Collioure white and rosé, followed by the Collioure red in late August / early September, and finishing with our Grenaches, which are over-ripened to prepare Banyuls. VINEYARD LABOUR
Derniere étape du travail à la vigne, elle demande une main d'oeuvre importante (une vingtaine de personne compose notre "colla") et experimentée.
Our wine estate is located on the last slopes of the Pyrenees before they reach the Mediterranean Sea. In working with these very unique topographical and climatic characteristics, the wine-growers of the past shaped these vineyards several centuries ago. They set up an extensive water management, collection and canalisation system to protect the soil from erosion during torrential rain. They also shaped the slopes into terraces that enable the cultivation of this totally atypical wine estate.
LE TRAVAIL DES VIGNES
Today, we bear the responsibility of maintaining it through a colossal masonry project and through the repair of ancient dry stone structures (low walls, canalisations, drain channels), with respect for all the previous generations of wine-growers who made it possible to keep our current-day vineyards on these hills.