AT1000 tying machine at Château Tariquet
Groupe de femmes qui attachent au Château Tariquet

Château du Tariquet : the estate, owned by the Grassa family,

always striving for excellence

Armin and his brother Rémy run Domaine Tariquet, straddling the Gers and Landes regions of France, famous for their Premières Grives white wine. Pioneers in the diversification of Armagnac vineyards towards the production of fresh, aromatic white wines, the two brothers farm 1200 hectares. The size of the vineyard does not prevent them from working with finesse.

Located in Eauze in the Gers department, the vineyards of Domaine Tariquet literally stretch as far as the eye can see. 1,200 hectares that flourish on the undulating terroir of Bas-Armagnac, on the border with the Landes. Managed by Armin and Rémy Grassa since 2007, following in the footsteps of their aunt Maïté and father Yves, this family vineyard is now one hundred years old.

A wide variety of grape varieties are grown here, but gros manseng and ugni blanc predominate. The former is used exclusively to make wine, both sweet and dry. The second is used to produce Armagnac.

Ouvrière avec l'attacheuse AT1000 INFACO

Single Guyot and Double Guyot to optimise production

Everything that goes into the bottle of wine we prune using the Guyot simple method, while for the distillation part we use the Guyot double method," explains Armin Grassa. The double guyot allows us to get more yield from the fruit, which means lower degrees of alcohol and higher acidity.

In terms of yield, the ugni blanc used for distillation reaches 120 hl/ha, while it is around 80-85 hl/ha when used to make wine. Gros Manseng produces around 65 hl/ha.

Mid-November: pruning of the 120 hectares begins

To maintain such a large surface area, Armin Grassa and his brother Rémy have made the rare decision to dispense with service providers and employ the workers in their vineyards themselves. The estate employs 110 permanent staff and up to 150 seasonal workers on fixed-term contracts.

Pruning begins in mid-November, after the first frosts and once the last leaves have fallen. " We start with the later grape varieties, then work our way up to the earlier varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon, which we prune last to try and delay budburst as much as possible," explains the winemaker.

Femme qui attache au Château Tariquet avec une attacheuse AT1000

Women tying up the vines for Domaine Tariquet

While the men do the pruning, the women are entrusted with the next stage: tying up. They're more careful, that's why they do this work," explains the man who oversees the technical side of the estate. Some grape varieties, such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon, have bigger wood and require more energy to bend them.

He asks them to wrap the rod around the supporting wire, which has a dual benefit. It maintains the vine despite the load of the harvest, while slowing down the flow of sap. The end result is a more even distribution of sap flow over the bunches.

Robust wine-growing equipment

The workers use INFACO's new model of electric tying machine, the AT1000, which has the advantage of being used from top to bottom. This makes the operation easier and less painful.

In addition to its tying machines, Tariquet recently renewed its fleet of pruning shears, the F3020s. In both cases, Armin Grassa's selection criteria are "robustness, the quality of the equipment, the battery charge - very important on large sites - and the after-sales service".

Watch his full video below.

Once again this year, we are teaming up with Téma Groupe and Viti magazine - Media et Agriculture for a new season of our web series: a great choice.