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This is the last chance for upkeep of the soil, and to prepare the old vines that will be removed (each year, several hectares of vines are pulled up in order to renew the vineyard). 3 to 5 years will be needed to restore the soil struture before replanting the vines.
The leaves have all fallen. A mechanical trimming of the vines is followed by a manual pruning of each one. It's time to start cover cropping (radish, watercress, mustard, treffle, etc.) to nourish our soils.
The vine pruning stops mid-month, and starts again in mid-January.
The old trellises are pulled out and new vine shoots (sprouts from the year) are mulched and turned back into the soils.
Rigorous pruning limits and focuses the number of buds, and evens out the vine canopy for perfect shadowess management. The soil is nourished with organic fertilizer (sheep manure).
The buds start to grow. The remaining shoots are bound to trellis supports. New young vines are also planted at this time, to renew the vineyard.
The buds open and the first leaves appear. Binding ends, and the mechanical maintenance of the soil begins again.
The young shoots that don’t bear grapes are trimmed away. Vines monitoring and cryptogamic desease prevention start all over again.
The branches are lifted vertically and attached to supports, ensuring that they are exposed to the sun and benefit from the greatest possibility of photosynthesis. Flowering occurs in the middle of the month, as the grapes form.
The soil is maintained (between the vineyard rows and under them) and the vines are monitored from infections and insects.
The grapes start to change color and ripen. Aromas and sugar start to accumulate slowly to preserve the high acidity needed for the finesse of our wines. Phenols drops (bitterness) and under riped flavours disappear.
The materials required for harvesting and pressing the grapes are prepared. The maturity of the grapes is carefully tested. Harvesting takes place between end August and the beginning of October. The exact harvest date is officially set each year per the recommendations of experts, based on the maturity of the grapes. Only hand harvesting is allowed in Champagne. It enables us to use whole bunch pressing and avoids extraction of undesirable compounds from the skin, preventing oxidation and obtaining perfectly balanced and delicate juice.