September 2017 - Vendange: noun (in France) the grape harvest. – Oxford Dictionary
At Château Palmer, harvest time is fast approaching…
With the arrival of every autumn, the pace of life on the estate quickens… exponentially. Each year, the start of the grape harvest produces a wonderful commotion. Vibrant. Every man and woman animated at their post.
At the end of each day, after having tasted grapes across the vineyards, we decide which parcels to harvest the next day, as not all will reach maturity simultaneously.
A timetable that must be rewritten day after day.
In the vineyards, grape harvesters collect the bunches, one snip after another. These are placed in cagettes or bins which are loaded onto tractors. Thus begins the parade of machines which will bring the precious harvest to the sorting tables. A great number of nimble hands now take over to separate the berries from the leaves. The grapes are then destemmed, pass through an optical sorter and into stainless steel mini-vats, to finally be transported by gravity into the large vats where the alcoholic fermentation begins…
The rhythm is unrelenting, a feverish cadence.
Finally, with some out harvesting in the vineyards and others sorting under the grape reception area, the lunch hour arrives. Each meal during harvest time is a singular moment, as everyone gathers in the banquet hall. A chance for sharing and cheer. Because even over lunch, the life of the estate doesn’t stop. Quite the contrary.
It’s a moment of life at its simplest and most vital, shared by the men and women who make the wine. This is the heart of Château Palmer.