At Château KALIAN the Monbazillac harvest usually starts in mid-October and runs through the end of November. Before harvest can start, the berries must reach at least 19% vol. potential alcohol.
Harvest is done completely by hand and it is like none other. Instead of harvesting clean fruit, we pick only the berries and portions of the clusters that have been colonized by noble rot!
To gather the berries at the correct stage of rot (fully rotted and “roasted”), between 3 and 6 passes are made throughout the harvest, depending on the vintage.
A tasty blend of these two stages of rot allows KALIAN to reach the desired level of potential alcohol (T.A.V.P. or Titre Alcoometrique Volumique Potentiel): between 21 and 22% vol. as well is an incredibly complex aromatic profile.
Every cluster is inspected and only the botrytized berries or portions of clusters are harvested while the ones that are clean or speckled are left on the vines to allow the Botrytis cinerea to colonize them. These will not be harvested until a later pass. In conclusion this scrupulous checking of the clusters allows KALIAN to continuously evaluate the quality of the Botrytis cinerea, key to a great Monbazillac. Suspicious berries are removed to avoid compromising the quality of the wine.
Grapes are then brought to the winery in small lugs in order to avoid damaging the very fragile botrytized berries.