The espalier system featuring royal double cordon pruning is used in most parts of the vineyard. This system involves the application of a load of 12 buds from 6 stems. This technique enables the perfect ventilation of clusters and prevents the risk of frost damage. Pruning is carried out during winter months (November and December) coinciding with the lack of growth activity in this season. Then, some of the vine shoots are cut (pre-pruning) and the bud carriers are selected.
Green pruning takes place in spring, normally in the dry plots with old stocks. It involves bud snipping and the removal of unnecessary small vine shoots. This increases the fruit bulking and occasionally even the number of berries per cluster. Next comes a light clarification or extraction of leaves, which must be carried out with utmost care to avoid grape skin burning. Summer temperatures often soar above 40ºC, periods when grapes too exposed to the sun are at risk of being seriously damaged.
GREEN GRAPE HARVEST
In order to remove excess load on clusters, those with uneven or less vigorous bulking are cut during the second half of July. This procedure allows the further strengthening of clusters feeding from sap and other more direct nutrients.
The grape harvest season takes place between August 15th and October 15th, depending on the year and its climate.
Chardonnay and Merlot are the varieties that mature earlier, followed immediately by the remaining ones. In order to determine the ideal harvest time and to mark the areas from where to start the harvest and advance progressively, daily controls of probable sugar levels and acidity of the grape are carried out at a prior stage. Due to the orography of the terrain, maturation speed varies depending on orientation, soil and the characteristics of each variety. We adapt the harvesting to the said maturation rate, by setting a maturity curve to show which plots will be the first to be harvested as well as the grape´s harvest order.
TYPE OF HARVEST
Following the annual zoning in a number of plots, the harvest is carried out manually using 20 kg boxes or mechanically.