Harvest dates vary by vintage and we adapt our harvest plan down to the plot or even to the parcel based on the optimum ripeness of the berries. Our team determine when to harvest through a combination of several physiological and subjective criteria, and even tasting berries by mouth is an important step in the decision-making process. Our team select which parcel block to pick by-hand only the night before.
After a meticulous selection process on the vines and in the winery, the sorted grapes are filled into concrete tanks or directly into Bordeaux barrels (about 25% of the harvest). This follows the method of Vinification Intégrale, particularly well- suited for Chateau Tour Saint Christophe. Our team is always present at the opening and closing of barrels by our cooper partners for better quality control.
In 2015, the cellars were renovated and redesigned to best serve the expression of our terroir. The aim of the renovation focused not only on preserving the best of our berries but also on facilitating our team’s processes. The main winery is fitted with advanced, varietal sized, and thermal-regulated concrete vats. With these vats, our team can separate the different plots of the vineyard and facilitate the pigeage. Two additional cellars have been devised for vinification in barrel and for malolactic fermentation through climate-control systems.
It is important to us that our cellar is a laboratory where in-depth analysis can be conducted every year. This allow us to question ourselves continuously, to never have certainties and to measure the impact of different methods.
The vatting process lasts 30 days, operating a gentle extraction with pigeages in tank and stirring in barrel. The juices are tasted daily in order to protect the expression of our fruit. These tastings allow us to determine the day for the running off and pressing of the grape marcs. The resulting juice is placed then in barrels for malolactic fermentation.
Château Tour Saint Christophe wines are aged in the same barrels for 15 to 18 months at constant temperature in our underground cellar. Depending on the vintage, the proportion of new oak varies between 30% to 40%, with the balance using 1 and 2 years old barrels.
After aging, the wines are bottled at the Château.