We met the winegrowers of the Plessis Glain estate in Saint Julien de Concelles, new users of our ultra light boots.
The view is breathtaking when you arrive at the edge of this vineyard in the Nantes region. The harvest has just finished and the vines are covered in beautiful yellow-green leaves.
As far as the eye can see, perfectly aligned vineyards stretch, mesmerising. We are welcomed by Christophe Bazile, associated with Vincent Pétard, the two managers of the estate.
The Plessis Glain estate in Saint Julien de Concelles has been in Vincent Pétard’s family since 1872. The land, once used for various crops, has now grown into a 35 hectare wine estate.
Christophe invites us in and tells us about his job:
“It’s very versatile. We do the harvesting of the wine, the winemaking process and the selling.”
Indeed, the estate is part of the “Vignerons Indépendants” (independent wine grower), which means that they harvest, vinify, bottle and sell their own wine directly. Most sales are made directly at the estate (well worth a visit!) or on their website: www.petardbazile.fr
Melon in Muscadet
Vincent and Christophe grow about 10 different grape varieties and make Muscadet appellation wines as well as Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) wines.
Muscadet is subject to strict specifications as for all designations. At Plessis Glain, no less than 19 hectares are dedicated to the cultivation of Melon de Bourgogne (the only grape variety at the origin of Muscadet).
The rest of the estate is devoted to various grape varieties: gamay, pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon, merlot etc. The two partners make blended wines themselves, which leaves room for creativity and diversity in their products.
It is different every year
A wine estate is punctuated by the seasons and the moods of the weather.
In winter, the vines are pruned to lighten the rods (branches) of the vine. Aquavitex has designed a special long jacket for this purpose.
In the Nantes region, and particularly for the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety, we use a pruning tecnique calledGuyot à la Nantaise”, which means that three heads are left on the vine. At this time there are no buds yet but “eyes” which are the first signs of future buds.
With spring between March and May comes the budding: the buds come out. Then towards the end of spring the buds bloom. These are not grapes yet.
With summer, the vine flowers give way to the future bunches. The berries will ripen and become coloured during summer: this is the veraison.
Finally, in fall, the grapes are ripe (this varies from one region to another and according to the grape variety). The harvest begins and lasts about 3 to 4 weeks.
The final word
After a good hour of discussion with Christophe we learned a lot about this fascinating profession and about the vineyards of our regions. Before leaving, we ask Christophe for his opinion on our ultra-light boots that he has been wearing for some time:
“They are really comfortable, I never leave them! “
The Aquavitex team would like to thank Vincent Pétard and Christophe Bazile for their welcome!