Grapes and nothing more. Working on the plantations of Chateau Chizay
Earth, sun, water, air – Grapes, except for the conditions provided by the terroir, do not need anything extra. However, the skilful hands of winegrowers are necessary. And right now on the plantations of Chateau Chizay – the best vineyards in Transcarpathia – there is “hot season” not only because of the hot weather. Green operations are in progress!
Green operations are, according to the experts, a set of measures to care for the vine, which is in the stage of intensive growth. Professional and timely work of growers will ensure the best harvest in the future, which means – a wonderful wine.
According to Tibor Godor, the head of production of the leading winery in Transcarpathia, the removal of young shoots helps to regulate yields and promotes better development of grapes.
“We work like this: we choose the best shoots on each vine, and remove the extra ones. This will help the bush to better ventilate, get plenty of sun and in the future to give birth to the highest quality bunches.
Green operations are also a system of vine protection, because the access of air and light to the whole plant protects it against pests and diseases.
We work according to certain regulations for different areas and varieties. In addition to removing young shoots, we take care of tying the bushes (this is called the introduction of green mass on supports) and cleaning the trunk of the vine”, says the experienced grower.
At present, about 90 people are working at the same time in the vineyards of Chateau Chizay. They were trained in green operations by leading winegrowers, including the Company’s consultant from Tokai György Rovży.
Of course, the process requires only manual labour.
They have already taken care, in particular, of Merlot, which grows on Mala Gora near Berehove, and Riesling, which also grows in Midianytsia, Irshava district. Green operations were also carried out where the legendary Traminer is maturing.
Next one is famous Pinot Noir, from which the Company produces exquisite rosé and a novelty: a luxurious red wine aged in barriques (French oak barrels) for 18 months.
Next week, this stage of viticultural training – the first summer green operations – will be completed in all three districts of Transcarpathia, where Chateau Chizay vines grow on 272 hectares: Berehove, Irshava and Mukachevo.
Heavy and prolonged May rains, which were replaced by heat, did not damage the vines, but instead caused intensive growth of bushes. In the spring, the vines had a good “supply” of moisture, now they will be enjoying the sun, which promotes the berries high sugar content.
Yield limitation technology is common in the world’s leading wineries. In Transcarpathia, Chateau Chizay has been actively experimenting with this practice for the last three seasons. The procedure has several stages, and later the growers will remove some of the young bunches of grapes.
Some may be surprised that we will deliberately cut bunches from which more wine could be made. But the Company’s goal is to make the highest quality wine, as rich as possible in aroma, taste, and nutrients, and in order to achieve it, we must sacrifice part of the harvest. This is respect for the consumer.
Grapes is an interesting plant that can give a great harvest: it can provide 5 kilograms of berries from one bush, or 7 or even more. And when the harvest is limited, when the young bunches are pruned, only 1.5-2 kilograms will remain on the bush, and all the nutrients that the vine has gathered from the ground will be concentrated in these remaining berries.
The saturation of grapes with sugars, acids, minerals and other nutrients will be reflected in rich aroma and taste of wine.
World practice of loading the vine is from 2.5 kilograms. But there are world-famous wineries that collect only a kilogram of berries from one bush, and this allows to do what experts call outstanding, “great” wines.
Gennadiy Gutman, the founder of Chateau Chizay, says: “A bottle of wine starts in the vineyard. By the way, when creating Oleg Skrypka’s wines, which he produces in partnership with our Company, the technology of yield(harvest) limitation is also used, as well as selective collection: this is when the winemaker chooses specific bunches from the bush, and only they will be used for wine production.
In general, the results of the application of leading viticultural practices are reflected in Chateau Chizay wines quality. It is not just a complex of aromas and flavours. This is a special character of wine, which is a concentrate of all the best that a unique terroir of Transcarpathia gave, as a gift from nature”.