2016 Grape Harvest at Château Montrose

The first organic harvest at Château Montrose
In 2016, Château Montrose harvested its first organic crop, the result of three years of experiments by the technical staff with different methods of treating the vines.

This year for the first time, 15 hectares of vines cultivated with organic and biodynamic methods were harvested. For Château Montrose, where the harvest ended on 13 October, this very special crop heralds the future conversion of the entire 89-hectare vineyard to organic farming.

Hervé Berland, manager of Château Montrose, said: “What we are doing is in line with what consumers expect. The decision taken by the owners, Martin and Olivier Bouygues, is firm and final. We are unequivocally committed to a process which will result in the entire vineyard being farmed organically by 2020. The results of our trials comparing four different methods of treatment, carried out on more than three hectares this year, will certainly give us precious input and help us as we move forward.”

Understanding all dimensions of the vineyard in order to bring out its best

Vineyard manager Patricia Teynac and cellar-master Vincent Decup have gone beyond purely technical experiments over the last few years, seeking to gain a fuller understanding of the vineyard in order to bring out its best. Using all available technologies and exploratory techniques, they have developed an increasingly accurate three-dimensional picture of the vineyard that allows them to take even more precise decisions about intra-parcel treatments and harvesting dates.

A soil resistivity study has been carried out in order to identify the contours of the different types of soil that make up the Montrose terroir. A map showing the vigour of the vines, prepared shortly before the harvest from infrared images taken by drone cameras, added to their understanding of the vineyard and helped them to determine the schedule for picking at optimum maturity.
The extreme accuracy of the work carried out by the vineyard staff is echoed in the winery, where ultra-precise vinification will be given a further boost by new technical facilities in 2017.

Greater respect for the soil and the environment

Boasting cutting-edge solar power and geothermal energy facilities since 2010, the estate recently invested in an electric tractor. 20% lighter than conventional machines, it offers the same working conditions and operates with identical speed and precision. The reduction in weight helps to limit soil compaction and reduce pollution. Château Montrose is planning to replace its entire internal-combustion fleet with electric vehicles in the future.

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