The Human Aspect

Nurturing the soil

The soils of Chateau Puygueraud were patiently restructured and regenerated over a period of thirty years before being replanted with vines at the end of the 1970s. One row in two of vines is planted with grasses in order to support the soil structure and encourage the microbiological life of the soil as well as humus production. The other rows are gently worked with harrows.

Nicolas Thienpont’s other sites
Château Pavie Macquin
Château Larcis Ducasse
Château Les Charmes Godard
Château Puygueraud
Château La Prade
 

The Vines

The rootstock and clones used in the vineyards are very carefully selected in order to preserve those vine-stocks most suited to the region, manage vigour and give maximum expression to the terroir
Another objective is the control of yields, which are always inferior to the maximums allowed in the appellation. This control of yield allows good ripening of the grapes and helps ensure a healthy harvest. Management of the yield begins with pruning followed by de-budding in spring and green harvest at ‘bunch closure’ and at veraison. The complimentary work of leaf thinning helps maintain a healthy environment for the grapes.

 

This manner of caring for the vines is deliberate as the quality of the harvest is the key ingredient in making good wines.

The harvest (by hand) is proceeded by the drawing up of a parcel by parcel plan of the vineyard according to analysis of sugar/acid levels and tasting of the grapes to evaluate their phenolic maturity.

Vinification

Once picked, the grapes are sorted and fed into stainless steel tanks for whole-berry fermentation. After a gentle extraction and subsequent maceration, sometimes accompanied by micro-oxygenation, the wine is put into barrel where malolactic fermentation takes place. Aging on lees is undergone, without excessive racking or strict time limits – all interventions are decided by tasting. Bottling, proceeded by a gentle fining, normally takes place after 16 to 18 months in barrel.