Chateau Guiraud

With the season


2012 Harvest Journal

Copyright (c)2012 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesMonday September 10:
The white wine harvest begins! 100 harvesters arrive at Château Guiraud and are outfitted with baskets and pruning shears. At 12:30, the entire team reunites in the courtyard to share in the midday meal and a fresh start to the afternoon. The harvest of the G de Château Guiraud will last for two weeks; the last press is planned for Monday September 24.

Wednesday September 19:
We are worried! You can see that it’s that time of the year, but still the botrytis hasn’t started its work yet! It’s been too dry, which has dessicated some grapes, and too cold at night; we have only had two warm nights and a little morning fog to start the process; a situation unheard of since 1985.
However, conditions were ideal on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. Temperatures stayed above 10°C, a relief after so many nights that were too cool for the perfect alchemy we need. A very light rain also swept through the vines, which the sun generously dried out with a little help from a gentle breeze.
The botrytis night seems to have finally arrived!

Thursday September 20:
It is quite cool this morning – too cool! The thermometer seems to be playing tricks on us again, threatening to undo all the beneficial effects of the night before. The powdery botrytis fungus demands a perfect trinity of water, wind and sun. 2012 is reminding us that it is this precious harmony which makes our golden wines so exceptional.
So we must wait, and while we wait, we harvest the splendid semillon grapes for our delicious dry white wines.

Friday September 21:
The night brings hope! The temperature has graciously decided to stay above 15°C. A sprinkle of rain in the morning gives way to a beautiful sunny afternoon…..will the scissors come out soon for the Sauternes? Stay tuned!

Sunday September 23:
Two nights in a row above 15°, a little rain and some fog yesterday morning, but not today….the grapes seem to be changing, complicating things for us; we can see a sort of “black hole” coming where we can no longer make any more dry white, but cannot yet do our magnificent Sauternes. I hope it won’t last long!
Tuesday September 25:
It’s the last morning of harvest for the dry whites. 9-1/2 days total of harvest for the G de Château Guiraud 2012. In the cellars, the barrels are softly humming, such delightful music!

Monday October 1:
A full moon last night. It’s cool outside, we lit the fire in the château fireplace last night for our second Moon Festival. Luckily, the weather forecast indicates that things will warm up again; the pruning shears are ready to go, our friend Botrytis is beginning to show his face. Just a few more days and we’ll have at it!

Thursday October 4:
Back to the rows of vines, this time for the Sauternes! We make a first pass to “clean” the vines. We get a helping hand in the morning from the local kindergarten children.

Tuesday October 9:
We continue our cleaning-up, then finally the first batches of Sauternes enter the cellars. This year the situation is a bit delicate; we still weren’t sure as recently as yesterday evening if we would be able to harvest. Our grape pickers had to call us at 7:30 this morning to find out if they were coming in or not.

Thursday November 1st:
The harvest ended today, November 1st at 10:00. We were hastily driven out of the vines when the dark skies overhead opened up and started pouring buckets on us! So it’s over….only these three days allowed us to bring in a harvest worthy of Château Guiraud. We’ll see after the vinification if the grapes kept their promises!


2011 Harvest

Spring 2011 was warm and dry.
Early flowering led us to believe the harvest would be 3 weeks early.
However, cool weather in July slowed growth down somewhat, and this was followed a wet, hot month of August.

In the end, the harvest started 2 weeks ahead of time. The first day of picking was on Thursday, 25 August for the dry white wine.

The month of September was ideal, with warm, sunny days and cool nights. Conditions were optimum for the spread of botrytis, which concentrated aromas while retaining good acidity.

Thanks to a north-easterly wind, this concentration was very rapid, and we were able to start first and second passes in the vineyard as of the 2nd of September. The latter produced extremely fine grapes and was soon followed by a 3rd and even a 4th and 5th pass in certain plots until 10 October, the last day of the harvest at Château Guiraud.

Picking took place for a total of 25 days (for the Sauternes) and was done by nearly 100 people. The crop was small – barely 9 hl/ha this year – but of superb quality. A hail storm on Easter Monday (25 April at 6 pm) led to the estimated loss of 40% of the crop, and as much as 80% in certain parts of the vineyard...

All the wine has finished fermenting by the 20th of October. Everything went very quickly this year, incredibly quickly! The cool night-time temperatures are beginning to clarify the wines. They already taste remarkably good: concentrated, aromatic, and complex. The speed with which the grapes became concentrated preserved magnificent vivaciousness. The wines are truly brilliant. My neighbours are saying “it's like 2001”... but this remains to be seen.

An initial tasting with the associate owners will be held on Monday, 24 October

Xavier Planty, 21 October 2011


Déjeuner de fin de taille, 4 mars 2011

Copyright (c)2011 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesAfin de fêter la fin de la taille, toute l'équipe du Château Guiraud s'est retrouvée autour d'un déjeuner très convivial ce vendredi 4 mars 2011.
Au menu, lièvre bio du Château Guiraud cuisiné maison ! sans oublier les centaines de crêpes et autres délicieux desserts. Tout ça aux vins du Château Guiraud bien entendu !
Merci à tous


Château Guiraud: Natural Privilege

Château Guiraud, a Sauternes Premier Grand Cru Classé in the 1855 classification, has just obtained organic farming certification. It is the first and the only one of the Premiers Grands Crus Classés in the 1855 Bordeaux classification to obtain such certification, which was initiated by director, Xavier Planty, in 1995. Guiraud’s decision to adopt organic viticultural methods is shaping the new style of the property’s wines, putting greater emphasis on purity, intensity and elegance...

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In the heart of the harvest

Many of you ask us how the harvest is going on? We are very pleased to share this very special moment, above all in Sauternes.

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Les vendanges de blanc sec ont démarré, paru le 02.09.10

«Les premiers coups de ciseaux ont été donné ce matin et Le G de Château Guiraud s’esquisse avec une forme aromatique incroyable.
L’alternance des nuits océaniques fraîches et des après-midi chauds donnent à ces premiers jus des notes parfumées intenses, fraîches et minérales.
Des vendanges de bonheur en perspective. »
Xavier Planty

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Biodiversity research at Château Guiraud, published on 22.06.10

Château Guiraud is hosting a young biologist from Rennes University for few months in order to conduct a study upon our vineyard biodiversity.

Very involved into environmental questions, Château Guiraud, thanks to its analysis, follows its philosophy and its global ecological approach.
Entitled « Biodiversity research on Arthropods on a vineyard area », this study aims at listing and counting the quantity and diversity of insect populations present on our vineyard. Insects actually have both a real ecological and economical play on agriculture and on the control of predators.

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Les vendanges 2009 , c'est fini !, paru le 21.10.09

Les vendanges se sont terminées vendredi 16 octobre.
De mémoire de vignerons de Sauternais, jamais on a vu à la fois une telle abondance et qualité. Il est vrai que l'on sortait d'une année de gel qui nous avait fait perdre 70% de bourgeons le 07 avril 2008.
La nature est généreuse ; elle compense l'année suivante ce qu'elle n'a pu nous offrir l'année précédente. Et elle a été doublement généreuse car le climat a été au rendez-vous lui aussi.
Résultat : une deuxième trie à laquelle se succèdent une troisième trie et une quatrième dans la foulée.
Des vendanges qui auront été seulement interrompue le week-end du 10 octobre par une pluie fine qui permettra aux équipes de se reposer après quinze jours de vendange non-stop.
Les vins sont riches, gras, remplis de botrytis. Les arômes sont là eux aussi,


A fragrance of 2003 but more exciting, published on 10.09.09

Face to the explosion of the botrytis in the vineyard after the rains of mid-September, the concentration is remarkable. As in 2003, we took two more presses and teams take turns almost days and nights. The difference is that this year was not canicular and the sugar / acid balance in the grapes are superb. This second pass, which began September 30, is continuous for 10 days.
Continued ...


A harvest of exception, published on 09.30.09

The first picking selection began on September 15 and ended on 25.
After a hot and dry summer, we have to cleaned the bunch by removing the old berries to prepare the vineyard for a second picking selection that will lead us to great wine.
The 50 mm of rain fell between Friday 18 and Sunday, September 20th will be the source of the outbreak of botrytis contamination.
After a dry, sunny and windy weather, bunches are concentrated at an impressive rate.
The second picking began yesterday and the sugar-acid balance are majestic. The more we advance, the more we cut. The health status of botrytis is perfect. It has already returned nearly 20% of the harvest.
Who said that Sauternes are late harvest wines ?
Continued ...


Encore plus d'hôtels à insectes à Guiraud, paru le 21.09.09

Les hôtels à insectes ont pour vocation d'attirer et d'installer une faune servant d'auxiliaire à l'exploitation de la vigne. En effet, parce que ces insectes vivent à proximiter de nos vignes, ils vont parcourir le vignoble à la recherche de nourriture qu'ils vont trouvé pour eux-mêmes ainsi que pour leur future descendance. C'est ainsi qu'ils se nourrissent des insectes qui auraient dû pondre sur la vigne. Insectes et larves sont ainsi "prelevées" par action naturelle de la chaîne alimentaire. Bien entendu, les insectes "invités" à rester ne sont pas préjuduciables à la culture de la vigne et à ses raisins.


The legendary fog of Sauternes, published on 09.10.09

While the drought has settled in bordelaise land for weeks, and so that the botrytis is blocked because of these excessive temperatures, the fog of the 10th of September 2009 will play a real role of active development of the fungus.

Continued ...

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La taille a débuté, paru le 23.12.08

Copyright (c)2008 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesPendant l'hiver, la vigne se repose. C'est à ce moment qu'il faut raccourcir les sarments poussés l'année précédente, pour préparer la future récolte sur des sarments neufs.
On taille pour limiter la croissance (donc l'encombrement), pour diminuer le vieillissement de la souche, tout en provoquant le développement d'un certain nombre de rameaux fructifères.
L'opération conduit à choisir à la fois la forme du pied, mais aussi la quantité de végétation et de fruits qu'on va obtenir.
La taille régule la production et permet d'améliorer la qualité des raisins en concentrant les sucres sur un nombre réduit de grappes, via la réduction du nombre de bourgeons laissés sur chque souche.
Elle s'accompagne du ramassage des bois coupés et de leur brûlage.

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What we can begin to say about the 2008 harvest, published on 12.23.08

The harvest began on September 23th after a month that has known alternating cold nights and warm days fueled from time to time by the wind.
The concentration was perfect as the morning dew has enabled botrytis to grow slowly.
We picked 22 concentrated and rich lots in 5 tries that show menthol and peppery notes, with aromas of pear and mango with beautiful sugar-alcohol balance.
If the harvest have lasted long this year (we picked up a lot last November 14), the successive episodes of rain during this month have resulted in a last lot less concentrated which does not fall within the first wine.

But surely a good vintage.


Regarding the second picking, published on 10.06.08

Copyright (c)2008 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesThe first selection picking ended on September 25th.
The second started on September 29th under a mild sky.
Indeed, since a fortnight, there is an alternation of cold nights and warm days fueled from time to time by the wind.
The concentration could therefore be parfaitemement especially as the morning dew allows the botrytis to grow slowly.
Last Thursday, 10 mm of rain have forced us to stop this second picking.
On this Monday morning, after a sunny, mild and windy week-end, we restart.
The batches are returned fairly concentrated and rich.
The dark side for now, the quantity ...
To be continued ...


The first harvesting Sauternes began, published on 09.24.08

Copyright (c)2008 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesYesterday afternoon we started the first harvest of sweet wine. It revealed a first batch of 11 hl with a beautiful 22.4 ° alcool potential (approximately 380 g / liter of sugar).
Apart from this small picking, the pickers have also made a sort of cleansing by removing old botrytis.
To be continued ...

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White dry wine harvest started, published 10.09.08

Copyright (c)2008 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesHere we go. In this beautiful morning, we started the harvest of dry white wine. Good degrees, nice acidity, healthy grapes ... a perfect cocktail !

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The time of orchids, published on 06.09.08

Finding the balance of the ecosystem, we can live in harmony with nature.
Proof of this is once more upon Guiraud, where wild orchideés available to us.
Find a small slide show of photos taken in the spring.

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2007 Sauternes tasting at Château Guiraud, published on 03.06.08

Copyright (c)2008 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesOn the last 26th of february, we organized between owner's great growth classified of Sauternes the tasting of the new 2007 vintage.
A great qualitative homogeneity have been felt by everybody. Freshness, complexity, a very intensive botrytis and some specific exotic aromas are present.For the ardent supporters of the comparison, we shall remember the 1988.


2007 harvest, published 11.23.07

In september, we made only two trie with a first cleaning trie to cut off the first botrytised berries.

The 5 mm of rain on 22th september have contributed to develop an intensive botrytisation through the vineyard and allowed us to move on 4 nice tries.

The fourth triage has started on thursday 11st october PM and was finished on saturday 13rd evening. After the rain of wednesday 10th morning, the north-east wind has dried the vine, cool nights have slowed down the botrytis, and the sunny weather has permited to develop the concentration.

Wa have finished the fifth triage on friday 19th october by picking very nice batches which certainly will enter in the 1st growth.

While we were at it, the sixth trie has started on last monday 22nd october ; it's the moment to finish some parcelle under a fresh, dry and sunny weather. We have finished this trie on wednesday 24th october.

We have piched up a very pure botrytis, delicious, full of flavours.

A very very famous vintage...


The sweet wine harvest, published on 10.26.07

Wa have finised the fifth triage last friday 19th october by picking very nice batches which certainly will enter in the 1st growth.
While we were at it, the sixth trie has started on last monday 22nd october ; it's the moment to finish some parcelle under a fresh, dry and sunny weather. We have finished this trie on wednesday 24th october.
To be continued...


The sweet wine harvest, published on 10.15.07

Copyright (c)2007 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesThe fourth triage has started on thursday 11st october PM and was finished on saturday 13rd evening. After the rain of wednesday 10th morning, the north-east wind has dried the vine, cool nights have slowed down the botrytis, and the sunny weather has permited to develop the concentration. No mist and a nice harvest.
After the Lord's day, starts the fifth triage in order to finish some parcelle and to ancitipate a sixth triage on other parcelle.
To be continued...


The sweet wine harvest, published on 10.09.07

Copyright (c)2007 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesWe have started the third triage from Tuesday 2nd october with low quantity after last week rain and mist.
A drastic triage with must that present very nice alcool degre.
Nevertheless, because of a too weak concentration on some area, we preferred to stop the second day trie to restart next week by expecting a funny weather.
This third triage was finished on tuesday 9th october just before the rain.


The sweet wine harvest, published on 09.25.07

Copyright (c)2007 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesWe start the second triage from Wednesday 19th to Friday 21st September. A very low yield but a nice botrytis. Unfortunately, we find few botrytis because of a lack of humidity. The last Saturday rain (5 mm) is able to develop an intensive botrytisation. We are looking for the full roasted rot before starting a new triage on next Thursday or Friday.
To be continued...


The sweet wine harvest, published on 09.14.07

Copyright (c)2007 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesBetween on friday 7th september afternoon and
on tuesday 11th september, we have done the first "triage" of Sauternes. We have noticed a very nice concentration with a constant north-east wind and a very daily sun.
So first, a very beautiful botrytis quality but we have mainly prepare the vine for the next "triage".
To be continued...


Harvest of white dry wine, published on 09.10.07

Copyright (c)2007 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesWe have started on wednesday 5th of september and finished on friday 7th september at the end of the morning. In spite of a lower production than last yezr, juice are very aromatic (pear, tropical fruits...) and present a very nice quality.


The planting, published on 07.16.07

Copyright (c)2007 by Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé SauternesThe vine is a plant which can produce more than hundred years, but to the detriment of a poor and unpredictable production although very qualitative.

The (economic) management of a property implies that its vineyard is optimized to obtain the most qualitative possible production with regular returns.

The vineyard of Château Guiraud is about 30 and 40 years old.

We are planting this year 40.000 young wines which we grafted ourselves in our greenhouse.

For that purpose, we lead preliminary soil labour in the plot.

After the uprooting, we let appear a natural undergrass allowing, on one hand, later to be working up in depth and, on the other hand, facilitating the aeration and the microbial life of the soil as well as the degradation of the ligneous residues.

We work the soil with banking (leveling of the soil, planting of wood hedge) and setting a drainage to eliminate the excesse of water.

Then, the soil will be first worked with a subsoiling which allows to aerate the soil and the subsoil, then a superficial ploughing to allow a good digging in of the vine.

Finally, we plant the vine with a drill, we water a lot in order the land crumble around the young vine and cover it.