The work in winter prepares the operations of vineyard maintenance, replantation, pruning... This final operation condition not only the form of the vine stock over the years, but also and especially the production of the future millésime. The vine stock awakens after a long winter sleep with the apparition of drops of sap at the end of the trimmed canes.
From the beginning of spring, the first operations are aimed at the soil, it is time to work the soil, then the first buds develop, burst and shed their scales making way for small leaves. The vegetative growth is important and the clusters become visible. The wine grower carries out work vital to the good resistance of the vine and enabling it to produce high quality grapes: plantation, training, attaching canes,...
The month of June is the flowering period for the vine. The flowers are then replaced by berries (it is called nouaison in french). The wine growers start to strip the leaves back in the cluster zone in order to expose them to the sun.
Then at the beginning of the summer, the berries then start to gain their colour and to become firm 7 to 9 weeks after the flowering period (it is called véraison in french). From this stage onwards the long process of maturing starts.
It is the most crucial time of the year with the beginning of the harvests which last over about a month. In AOC Irouleguy they generally start between the end of September and the beginning of October. They are exclusively manual. The quality of the grapes is preserved.
The southerly wind (which we call ‘haize hegoa ‘) a unique characteristic of our terroir, contributes to an optimal maturity of our grapes.
A few days before the beginning of the harvest, a small team composed of the oenologist and our members blindly taste samples of grape berries, plot by plot. This is how they judge the quality of the grapes brought in and determine which grapes will be assigned to which vats.
In the wine storehouse, we have the same care for quality and traceability. The most qualitative plots are harvested in cagettes to be more respectful to the harvest. The grapes from our wine growers is weighed. A sample is taken for analysis. The harvest is destemmed, lightly pressed before being put into a vat (for the reds) or in the pressers (for the whites and the rosés). A premium vat receives the highest quality grapes to create small lots of high quality wine. This is followed by the lengthy process of vinification and maturing of the wines.
The wines from the Cellar are the fruit of the work and the values from which the wine growers and the members of the cooperative personally identify themselves.
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