The harvest: the result of a harmonious year of work between nature and humans.
The harvest is a meticulous step which begins long before the first cuts of the pruning shears. As soon as the berries start to change color, we closely monitor the maturation process of the grapes to determine the optimal harvest date for each plot. We must wait for a perfect balance between sugar content and acidity to obtain high-quality juice. Once the optimal harvest date is determined, picking can begin. Carefully selected, the grape clusters are harvested by hand to avoid crushing the berries and ensure proper preservation of the grapes until pressing. The grape clusters are then delicately placed into crates and immediately transported to the press.
Once arrive, the grapes are weighed, inspected, and recorded before being immediately pressed. The pressing process is very important in the production of our champagnes and requires special attention. Once into the press, the grapes are pressed whole. The pressing is conducted slowly and progressively. The juice, called must, flows by gravity into the belon. The press is fractioned to separate the juice from the first press, known as the cuvée, from the subsequent press, the taille, to keep only the best. The must is then transferred to stainless steel vats, except for our Fût de Chêne cuvée, which is transferred to old barrick.
After completing the press step, we collect the rest of the grapes, such as skins or stems to distill and reuse them in the production of certain cosmetic products. To preserve the unique characteristics of each of our grape varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, we press them separately. The slow and delicate process of the Champagne press allows us to extract the juice from our Pinot Noir without altering its color. It is this ancestral savoir-faire that gives our champagnes their beautiful golden robe.
After the transfer of the juice to the vats, the fragments of skin, pips, and other sediment settle at the bottom of the vats. To preserve the quality of the juice, we proceed with clarification, 24 hours after the juice transfer. Clarification involves extracting the juice from the bottom of the vat and transferring it to another vat, while the sediments are being removed and sent to the distillery. This operation marks the beginning of the winemaking process. The juice in the vats is regularly monitored to ensure its quality before bottling.