The birth of a great vintage

With a rainy spring and a hot summer, the work in the vineyard was particularly attentive this year, aiming to accompany nature and each vine stock with respect until the harvest. After 9 weeks of harvesting, walking through the rows of vines, observing, tasting the grapes, appreciating the evolution of their maturity, accompanying their reception in the cellar with care, we had, at the last stroke of the pruning shears on October 15 , the feeling of having overseen together the birth of a great 2020 vintage. Discover the short film of the 2020 harvest.

Vintage 2020 – perspective note

October 20, 2020

Richard Planas, Director of Châteaux and Domaines Gérard Bertrand

2020: A wet spring followed by a hot summer

The 2020 wine campaign will remain deeply marked by a unique and contrasting climate depending on the season.

Winter 2020, mild and rainy, allowed a benevolent recharge of the water reserves of the subsoil and an early bud burst. As a precaution, we were led to preventively deploy, in sensitive areas, "candles", which allowed us to avoid the pitfall of frosts.

The spring, humid and warm, generated active growth of the plant, good development of the leaf surface and early flowering, breaking records in terms of heat and rainfall balances.

Summer turned out to be typically Mediterranean: lack of rainfall and high temperatures, but not excessively so, set the vineyard on the path to ripening its grapes.

The harvest begins on August 18, a first in our vineyards, ten days ahead of the early white grape varieties (Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs).

Biological indicators to green

Annual rainfall has reached, in most of our regions, historic values ​​for the Mediterranean climate (>800mm). Coupled with high temperatures, but normal for the Languedoc region, these water supplies allowed an early and beneficial development of the foliage, an awakening of the biological activity of the soil and excellent mineral nutrition. But they also favored the development of parasites and pests, against which we helped the vines to defend themselves by stimulating their natural defences.

Locally, the heavy winter and spring rains were not enough to erase all water stress in the plots with superficial soil. We have overcome this by combining tilling, controlling yields and biodynamic applications.

The summer storms (mid-July and mid-August) and the dominance of the sea wind in August (raising the air humidity) locally restored a good physiological balance of the foliage and the grapes.

Technical monitoring and plot vigilance

Like every year, we exercised vigilance and daily attention to the vineyard by surveying each plot with meticulousness. This monitoring and this precision work make it possible to accompany each vine until the harvest in the best conditions.

We have equipped ourselves with high-performance tools to consolidate our diagnoses: connected weather stations, measurement of water stress, nutritional monitoring by petiole analysis.

We have also created a laboratory to independently carry out analyzes by "sensitive crystallizations" to confirm our technical choices in terms of biodynamics

The applications of biodynamic preparations have also played a particularly important role in supporting the harmonious development of the vegetation and stimulating the natural defenses against climatic or parasitic attacks. They followed one another according to the rhythm of the seasons and planetary alignments: Maria Thun dung compost in the fall, Horn Dung in the spring and Horn Silica during the vegetation phases of the vine...

A harvest of very high quality potential in perspective

The results are up to our criteria of excellence: the harvest volumes are in line with our quality objectives.

The excellent sanitary condition of the vineyard was maintained from the beginning to the end of the harvest. We had to remain vigilant, as every year during the harvest, depending on the weather.

The quality indicators (precocity; leaf area/burden ratio; chemical composition and taste of the berries; health status) augur well for an exceptional vintage.

The harvest started early this year (1 week ahead of normal, more than 15 days compared to 2019) with the Chardonnay harvest on Cigalus on August 18, they ended at Domaine de l'Estagnère on October 15 with the harvest of Cabernet Francs.

Thus, we had almost 2 months of harvest divided according to the maturity of our different terroirs: as close as possible to the maturity of the grapes, balance between preservation of freshness, elegance of tannins and full expression of the aromatic potential of the berries.

The point of attention for this vintage was firstly focused on the whites where we had a precise monitoring of the maturities to preserve the acidity and the good balance of these wines. On the whites, the abundant rainfall in spring and the showers during the summer resulted in juicy berries and very clear and aromatic juices.

The first sold reds present sustained colors and very concentrated wines. Vigilance this year focused on the very high extractability of the tannins. Thus, the macerations are shorter and the extractions very gentle (slight pumping over, no over-extraction). Harvesting at just the right maturity produces elegant wines. The whole bunch macerations on the Carignans but also on a few selected Syrahs fully reveal the expression of the terroir and the vintage, bringing richness to the wine and bringing characteristic notes of tapenade and garrigue. The destemmed macerations, largely in the majority, are elegant and reveal all the power and complexity of the wines.

The rosés continue to mature in barrels for another 6 months. This year, all the estates have equipped themselves with refrigerated containers as well as crates allowing us to press fresh grapes to preserve all their aromas and thus obtain pale rosés . The colors are beautiful and the aromatic looks very promising.

The whites are slowly finishing their co-fermentation in barrels and slowly finishing the fermentation of the sugars. The colors are bright, the wines lively and clean have excellent aging potential and are already very pleasant to taste.The next 6 months in barrels will allow the full expression of the aromatic potential of these very great wines

At the end of a year of precise work in the vineyard, all of our teams, reinforced by the entire seasonal pickers, have contributed together to the culmination of the 2020 vintage, which promises to be exceptional.


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Payraudeau December 10 2020

Bonjour la maison Gérard Bertrand
Nouvel arrivant dans l équipe commercial sur le département du Maine et Loire depuis début août , suis très heureux de découvrir cette vidéo
Qui met en valeur cet excellent millesime et du travail de l équipe dans les vignes et dans les chais qui réalisent des grand vins .

Au plaisir d y aller au plus vite si possible dans se monde de …….🍾


Franck Payraudeau

gerard joulie December 10 2020

Cher Gérard ,
bravo à toi et à tes équipes on retrouves des professionnels et surtout des gens de passion .
C’est ça la vraie réussite
Félicitations à toi et tes collaborateurs
Amicalement .

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