Yesterday we took a break from pump-overs to visit Médoc in celebration of the end of the 2011 harvest. Médoc is the Bordeaux appellation home to such celebrated wineries as Château Margaux, Châteaux Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild, Château Latour, and more.
What we left behind (well… we did do pump-overs in the morning before we left and upon our return last night): ) – Remontage, or pumping over – we pump from the bottom of the tank as shown here, to the top, where a tourniquet (pictured below) sprays the must pumped from below all over the cap of skins, seeds, etc. (the “marc”) that floats on top of the must.
The team on the bank of the Dordogne (**nb** – none of us normally look anywhere near this clean):
…and Château Latour:
We spent 3 hours visiting Château Cantemerle…
where we learned the ins and outs of everything that they do there, from viticulture…
(Giant atomizers (5 of them) for spraying the vines. They are mounted on special tractors that, like the machine harvesters (though everything at Château Cantemerle is harvested by hand) are designed to go on top of the rows. The subject of to spray or not to spray will have to be the subject of a different post – suffice it to say that most people spray in France as organic viticulture has a reputation of being incredibly difficult and expensive, with unpredictable, and often mediocre, results.)
… to vinification
(Wooden foudres for aging the wine)
…and even got a tour of the storage and labeling facilities. Of course, the afternoon ended with a tasting of their very well-balanced 2010 and 2007 wines.