Tag Archives: Chateau du Pavillon

The 2014 harvest at the Ponty Winery

Dear Friends,

It’s early October in France and we just finished harvesting our 2014 vintage. Fortunately, the weather of September in Fronsac was warm and dry, and there was much sunshine to ensure the great vintage we hoped for following doubts after a cool and rainy summer.

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Our team of 15 harvesters started hand picking the grapes on September 24th. They are usually students looking to experience the harvest before school starts, or locals who come to our winery year after year. This year we started the harvest with Clos Virolle, the vineyard close to the river with sandy soils leading to earlier maturation of the grapes, and finished with Chateau Grand Renouil where the cool soils and old vines require more time to reach the perfect maturity.

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The best time to pick the grapes is in the morning, when the grapes are still cool from the night’s low temperatures. Our pickers work in teams of two for each row on the vineyard. Carriers (usually men) collect the baskets from 3-4 pickers and bring their bucket full of grapes back to the tractor. The goal is to bring the grapes back to the cellar while they are still fresh. Once there, we put the grapes through a machine called “erafleuse”, which separates the stems from the berries, and sends the berries to the vats where the fermentation process will start almost immediately.

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Only 20% of French wineries still harvest by hand today, but we believe it is a necessary step to achieve great wines. Moving forward, we now need to carefully monitor the fermentation process in the cellar where the sugar turns into alcohol. The next few months until December will be crucial for us to make the best use of our grapes and put our family signature onto this vintage. The grapes are in the vats but the work is not over yet!

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Wishing you a great month of October!

For the Ponty Family,
Helene Ponty

A New Medal for Chateau du Pavillon

Dear Friends,

Summer is upon us and it is awards season! We are happy to announce that after winning a Gold Medal at the Concours des Bordeaux last year, our Chateau du Pavillon 2010 won a Silver Medal at the Concours Mondial this year. This vintage is still available in limited quantities at our winery in Fronsac.

Concours Mondial medal
We spent a great proportion of May touring China to promote our wines. On May 13, Michel Ponty landed in China and spent the two following weeks traveling, having wine dinners, and presenting at wine fairs. His travels include Beijing, Xiamen (Fujian province), Wuwei (Gansu province), Guangzhou for the Interwine fair, Xi’an (Shaanxi province) and Hong Kong for Vinexpo. This trip gave us the opportunity to see how wine consumed differently around China, from Fujian where people drink a lot of wine and cognac, to Guangzhou where the knowledge of wine is more advanced due to its proximity to Hong Kong, to Xi’an where many people are still getting used to the taste of red wine.

Wine Business International May 2014-0As a winemaker, it is a humbling experience to have to adapt our communication to so many different people in such a short time and we do our best to explain simply and/or in detail the traditions of our winemaking since we begun in 1905. Our efforts were noticed by (name of journal), who included us in their story of “New Roads to China”. You can read the article here

Happy month of June!
For the Ponty Family,
Helene Ponty