2022’s climatic conditions
This year, adaptation has been key. Let’s take a look at 2022’s climatic conditions and how the teams adapted to them with Pascal Baratié, our Vineyard Manager. « It is still a bit of an extreme vintage. The weather has been very hot and very dry. We have endured four successive heatwaves with temperatures reaching 40 degrees. As a result, the grapes have ripen very early. The terroir we have here is mostly made of gravels and sand. Clay has a high water retention capacity. If the root system goes deep enough, it can draw the necessary water which will protect the vine of “burning”. We are currently slightly adapting our agricultural practices, as a way to adapt to the changing climate, to result in almost no leaf thinning and very limited green harvests. »
Harvesting the grapes
In 2022, the harvest has started on August 17th with the white grapes. The quality of the berries was excellent, with almost no sorting needed. The grape pickers were starting at dawn, in order to keep the grapes’ freshness. An additionnal cooling down of the grapes was made as they arrive at the cellar. It ensures the preservation of the grapes’ delicate aromas. Then, the red grapes’ harvest started on August 29th with a plot of young Merlot. These young vines have benefitted of an extra care during the heatwaves of the summer and were the first ready to be picked.
Getting a first taste of 2022
After the end of the Merlot grapes’ harvest, the teams went on picking beautiful Cabernets. No pause was needed this year between Merlots and Cabernets, as the latter were already ripe. While fermentations are conducted in the vats, Jean-Philippe Masclef, our Technical Director and Florence Forgas, our Cellar Master are getting a first taste of the future 2022 vintage. Every day, they take the time to taste the various batches, because it is important for them to have a clear picture of each vat, as this enables them to potentially adjust how they monitor macerations. Jean-Philippe Masclef declares that “to be able to adjust, it is important to let our sensations really express themselves, how we wish extraction to be done and subsequently the factors for winemaking are then chosen and develop according to our tastings.”
A year unlike any other
Each year and each harvest has its particular characteristics: for the teams, it’s all about adjustments. Jean-Philippe Masclef and Florence Forgas are sharing their knowledge about making a successful harvest. This year has brought novelties such as an early harvest of the Cabernet Sauvignon, at the beginning of September, which was something that was never seen before. But both the tasting of the grapes and the analysis were excellent.
Jean Philippe Masclef adds “In my opinion, 2022 will be like no other, it will be quite unique; we must never despair of the vine and its ability to adapt. Each year is different, we adjust ourselves to the grapes: we are bringing in small berries and there is not much juice, so naturally we are limiting pumping over and we are cautious with fermentation temperatures. We constantly seek balance and elegance. “. And as Florence Forgas says, the key to successful harvest lies in “daily adjustment and excellent communication among team members in the vineyard and those in the vat room”.
In vines we trust!
Jean-Philippe Delmas, Deputy Managing Director, shares his confidence about the future 2022 vintage: now that the harvest is over, the winemaker comes to action. “For these 2022 harvests, we were able to gather our white and red grapes in perfect conditions. Namely, when it came to healthiness, the grapes were flawless, but also regarding their ripeness; the grapes were magnificent to behold, small in size, but we are extremely confident about this vintage to come.“