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The annual production for the first growth is about 100.000 bottles. Some really bad years (1991 and 1993) No classified growth has been produced.The first growth is produced from a 85ha of Sauternes appellation vines.
Only Semillon (65%) and Sauvignon (35%) are planted at Guiraud with a pruning "à cots" or "in fan" for the Semillons and long branches for the Sauvignons. The density of plantation is 6660 vine per ha (Root stock Riparia 33 09, 101 14,161 49). The average age of the vines is 35-40 years. The average yield is 12hl/ha. The maximum yield allowed by the appellation is 25hl/ha.
Harvest is only done hand picking by successive waves through the vineyard (2 to 7 selections), picking only the botrytised berries. A minimum of potential alcohol (20°) must be reached before starting the harvest. The fermentation is made in new oak barrels over a period of three weeks to two months. Different batches are fermentated until they reach their own equilibrium which depends upon their selection. Chaptalisation, cryoextraction and any other techniques used to enrich the wine are absolutely prohibited. The aging in barrels lasts 24 months.
In Bordeaux, the heat resulted in early flowering. Also, this led to an early harvest after a very hot summer. As a starting point, there is great maturity in the grapes, and one can expect a more opulent vintage than in the last few years.
The summer this year has been the warmest since 1959, yet the rain has fallen at the right times during the growing season. The harvest took place two weeks before the norm and will yield grapes with high potential alcohol and the lowest acidity since the 2003 vintage. As they say in Bordeaux: "It has been a good and extreme growing season which hopefully also produces great wines".