The vintage dates depend on the year, but harvesting normally take place the last
two weeks of September and the first week of October. Each grape variety is picked
separately, at the peak of ripeness.
It takes an enormous amount of experience to know when to start picking. This
decision is a never-ending challenge.
The grapes are left fairly long on the skins to extract good colour. This generally
lasts 2 to 3 weeks, or even longer in great years.
This calls for a great deal of caution because the temperature in the fermentation
vats must not exceed 30-32° C.
The wine is pumped over the cap every day.
The winemaker's constant attention, combined with help from a consulting oenologist,
are essential in determining the wine's quality and ageing potential. Once the
wine has spent enough time on the skins, it is run off, and blended (a homogeneous
blend of the wine from the various grape varieties is made).