Experience the harvest by spending a few hours picking grapes with other visitors and the winegrower's family.
Our harvest workshop takes place on a Saturday in September or October - depending on the date when we start picking our grapes. The approximate date of the beginning of the harvest is generally known in June, when the vines are in full bloom. 100 days are necessary between that moment and the harvest. However this time period may vary a little, depending on the weather during the summer.
The date of our harvest workshop is generally advertised around the end of June. Online bookings are available from that moment.
Coffee and brioche will be waiting for you at the winery before we take you to the vineyard.
There, you will discover how the grapes are harvested by machine. Then off you go, with a bucket and a pair of pruning shears we'll lend you, cutting the beautiful Chenin Blanc grapes in a lovely lanscape.
You'll see the grapes you've picked arrive at the winery and be put in the press machine. We will taste grape juice and musts from the press machine and the tanks, before lunch made with regional food products is served with the wines produced by the estate.
We'll finish the day with a tour of our cellar dug in the rock, to explain how we make sparkling wines
thanks to the traditional method.
Based on our experience from previous years, the day starts at 9:00 am and finishes around 4:30 pm.
HARVEST WORKSHOP: €45/person
What the price includes:
- Coffee, juice... and French bakeries on your arrival
- Hand harvest workshop (2 hours)
- Discovery of the harvesting machine
- A fresh grape juice tasting at the winery
- A tasting of the estate wines
- Lunch at the winery (local food products)
-A visit of the rock-hewn wine cellar
From 9 am to 4:30 pm
On a Saturday, in September or October
Children under 12 years old: €20
On reservation only
All the wines produced at Vignoble Alain Robert are made with our own grapes - we don't buy grapes from other wineries. This allows us to be member of a national organisation called 'Vignerons indépendants' (independent winegrowers), which implies we master the whole winemaking process, from grape-growing to bottling, as well as the selling of the wine.
Until 2009, most of the grapes were harvested by hand at our winery. That year, we switched to other methods - machine harvest - but today we still hand-harvest about 1/4 of our grapes. For some of our wines, we require the healthiest grapes as possible, which is why resort to hand harvest, a method generally more respectful of the grapes and that allows us to sort the grapes.
Roger Van Dyke, an American who came to visit in September 2017, brought his drone with him and had the opportunity to film the hand-picking process, as well as the beautiful vineyard landscapes around our winery in Chançay, in the Loire Valley. I'll let you enjoy, before offering to join us for one day during the autumn to experience hand-harvest yourself!