What happens on the estate during the autumn?
Written by Yves Leccia, published in
What do you do after the harvest? That's the question I can't escape, every year, after the harvest. It's simple, once the harvest is in the cellar, I go to the other side of the curtain to give birth to the year's wine and prepare the vine for the next harvest. Today I'm going to give you some answers and explain in detail what happens at the estate during this beautiful autumn season.
In the cellar: immediately after the harvest, we clean and disinfect the equipment such as the press or the destemmer. It is essential to clean everything so that the equipment is in perfect condition next year. Then the days go by and we quickly find ourselves in November, which marks the end of the vinification process. Even the reds, whose malolactic fermentation starts later, slowly finish fermenting.
From mid-November onwards, I can start tasting the wines: I watch them very closely to assess whether or not there is a need for a new racking. For the moment, I am satisfied with what I have tasted in white and rosé, I am still waiting for the reds which are later.
As for the vines, I am patiently waiting for the leaves to fall, which is starting to happen slowly with the arrival of the cold and the wind. Once they are all on the ground, we can start one of the most important tasks of the winegrower's job: pruning. This year I think we'll start around the 15th of December to prune all winter long.
Don't imagine that I'm twiddling my thumbs while waiting for the leaves to fall! I take advantage of this time to do the "small jobs"; ploughing the rows to bring the soil back onto the vines, removing the dead vines and preparing the soil to replace them with a young plant when spring comes.
This is what has occupied my days for a few weeks now. But don't forget that I don't have a typical day! Sometimes I have to stay at the estate, sit behind my desk and do much more "administrative" work, such as the annual harvest declaration that each winegrower has to fill in before the end of November.