Wednesday, 4 October 2017

More innovation at Chateau Pontet Canet.

I have previously written about the innovations and developments of Chateau Pontet Canet.
However most of the work for biodynamic conversion has taken place in the vineyard.......special infusions sprayed on the vineyard, burying cow manure in cow horns, and generally using the lunar calendar for treatments and work in the vineyard. Then since 2012 the Chateau started to age their wines in unique amphora style cement tanks.
But now the focus of the team at Chateau Pontet Canet is turning to the winery and specifically fermentation. The picture above is of the new winery that has been opened in the last two weeks for receiving the 2017 grapes. 25% of the total production can go through fermentation here in special designed concrete tanks. The unusual aspect is that there is no electricity apart from the 12 volt LED lights. And the electricity generated to power their lights is generated from their own Geo Thermal bore holes, which have recently been dug on the estate. The idea is to eliminate any electro magnetism and influence on the wine. The tanks are designed on the prinicpal of 'the golden rule' and 'the magic number' (1.6180339887), which apparently is an important element of Leonardo da Vinci's architecture as well as Le Corbusier.

There has been much work in the vineyards at Pontet Canet. The vine above has not been trimmed. The shoots are tied to form an arch, which slows the growth and exposes the bunches of grapes.

 Forklift meets horse at the winery.

 The grapes arrive on the first floor of the winery at Chateau Pontet Canet, via horse drawn carts and then slightly more modern forklift trucks. The other unuusual element is that they are not using a classic de stemming machine. They are destemming the bunches by hand. The only other estate in Bordeaux who carries out this massively labour intensive action is Chateau Pape Clement in Pessac Leognan.

 The horses are being used more often at Chateau Pontet Canet. The latest construction has been the new stable block to cater for a few more horses. The eventual idea is to work all the vineyard with horses and also generate their own power and electricity via their Geo Thermal bore holes.
The Chateau was built in the late 18th Century, and has only had three family owners in the last three hundred years.....the Pontet family, the Cruse family and more recently (since 1975) the Tesseron family. But the innovations and changes over the last 15 years have been quite dramatic.

It will be fascinating to taste a vertical of Chateau Pontet Canet from 2000-2016 to judge all of the innovations and idiosyncracies coming from the constant innovations. Let's see what they do next......

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