There are two picking methods, depending on how the vines have been pruned.
For vines that have been pruned gobelet style, the harvest is carried out manually. Teams of pickers begin working at dawn and stop in the early afternoon, when it becomes too hot.
This used to be the traditional pruning style in Provence, but has now been abandoned in favour of trellising.
The trellised vines are harvested mechanically, at night, by the latest generation of harvester, which has an integrated sorting system.
This "selective process" machine is able to pick and sort, removing 98,9 % of the green matter.
The choice of using a mechanical harvester was made after much consideration: the decision was finally taken in 2010, when it seemed that sufficient progress had been made for the quality of a mechanical harvest to be superior to that of a manual harvest. This is true in Provence because our primary goal is to preserve the fruit and freshness, and harvesting at night enables us to pick the grapes at an ideal temperature; furthermore, as the harvest is faster the grapes can picked at optimum ripeness.
This is the second big ploughing period: the soil is turned over after the harvest. The idea is to aerate the soil, so that the winter rain can penetrate. To do this, we use a "crescent moon" (or "melon slice") which enables deep ploughing.
When the first mistral comes, the leaves fall, heralding the pruning season and the arrival of winter: the beginning of a new cycle!