Château Montreuil-Bellay’s vineyard belongs to the “appellation contrôlée” zone of Saumur. It extends over an area of almost 13 hectares and includes the Cabernet franc, Chenin and Chardonnay grape varieties, which are planted in an East-West orientation to allow for even sun-exposure throughout the day.
The vineyard’s manageable size means much of the work, such as pruning, disbudding, de-stemming and harvesting can be carried out meticulously by hand.
It is planted to a density of 5,000 vines per hectare. The spacing of two metres between each row and one metre between the bases of each vine was designed for healthy growth and also provides optimal sunlight exposure.
Every second row is planted with grass to allow the vine to spread its roots as deep as it needs to in order to find the water and minerals for its nourishment. In this way, the plant can benefit from the diversity of the soils as it reaches down into different soil layers.
The height and thickness of the canopy are carefully controlled to maximise sunlight exposure and ventilation of the grape. It is vital to monitor these elements very carefully, as the slightest error could impact significantly on the quality of the vine’s photosynthesis and its health.