Culture & sustainable development
The work accomplished in the vineyard has always been considered here to be essential. To start with, the age of the vines, one third of which are easily over 50 years old. All the necessary manual tasks – restrictive pruning, crown suckering, topping, removal of leaves from the heart of the shoot, crop thinning, removal of leaves on the east side and then on the west side – are performed to ensure that the grapes produced are the healthiest, purest and most characteristic of their variety.
Also, Château Moulin Haut-Laroque has been involved into the Environmental Management System (SME) of the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) for few years. The main goal is to act on a daily basis as if we were an industrial company rather than a standard farm… That means that we do all the needed efforts to assess & control the environmental and humain impacts of our work in order to lower any risk.
Each plot is harvested on “D-day”. Each bunch is removed by a picker and then sent by a carrier to a mobile table for an initial examination so as to keep only the best grapes. Depending on the year, this operation can involve between 25 and 50 people.
On reaching the vat-room, the grapes are tipped on to a sorting table for elimination of all those considered to be imperfect. The stems are then removed to leave only the grapes proper which then move down a long, vibrating table where 6 to 8 people continue the sorting to keep only the very best.
To avoid damage from pumping into long pipes, the grapes are fed into the vats directly by gravity.
The automatic temperature control enables individual fermentation and maceration of each grape variety. Large bubbles are blown into the vat under the marc to break it up and facilitate capillarity and drainage, thus reducing the twice-daily pumping over the cap to just a few minutes.
According to the dictates of tasting, the marc is drained at very low pressure using a pneumatically inflated membrane. The gravity feed of the marc enables all the integrity and purity of the material to be preserved.
The first pressings and the press wines are transferred into barrels immediately after removal from the vats for the malo-lactic fermentation to take place. Stirring and micro-oxygenation are sometimes used to maintain the contact between the wines and the fine lees.
The wine will be left in the barrels for 15 or 18 months before being bottled, with occasional racking operations and early blending.
Type of bottling : Under nitrogen atmosphere, vacuum filling & corking
Type of bottles : Heavy (OI Bordeaux Reference II & Patrimoine)
Type of corks : Natural, 54mm x 24mm – horizontal writing
Type of caps : Tin
Lot number : Lot & bottle numbering laser engraved on the bottleneck