Choosing the right date for the grape harvest is vital to the quality of the wines that will be made from it.
At Domaine La Madura, it is determined by a number of factors:
- Tasting the grapes: this is the overriding factor.
- Results of ripeness tests, i.e. tests carried out on grapes taken from the various plots at regular intervals
- Keeping an eye on the health of the harvest
- Weather forecasts
For red grapes, the aim is to pick them slightly over-ripe to obtain the aromatic complexity that comes from really ripe grapes and, above all, smooth tannins that are easy to extract.
As far as the white grapes are concerned, these are picked when there is still plenty of acidity and the aromas have reached a good level of maturity. This helps to retain aromatic freshness and finesse. The "window" during which the grapes are at their best is very short, and a great deal of care and speed is needed when it is time to harvest them. This is a crucial moment for the quality of the white wines.
The grapes are hand-picked by local seasonal workers, so the grapes are sorted in the vineyard and placed in crates to reduce the effects of packing down, prevent oxidation and ensure that they are taken quickly to the cellarsthat there is always a team of people available to fit in with the needs of the moment.